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Prepare for Seismic Hazards & Other Emergencies

Prepare for Seismic Hazards & Other Emergencies

The large magnitude earthquakes that occurred in Southern California’s Mojave Desert on July 4 and 5 serve as a reminder of how important it is to be prepared for an emergency. While we cannot prevent natural disasters from occurring, we can take the following steps to help prepare and respond:

Fortunately, the Mojave Desert area suffered no deaths or severe injuries despite the large magnitude quakes it felt. The impact likely would have been more damaging here in the San Francisco Bay Area due to our large population living close to major earthquake faults, plus the age and density of our infrastructure and buildings.

We encourage all members of our community to take steps to get prepared and review the City's resources for emergency preparedness.

If you live, work, attend school or other facility here in Palo Alto, please consider signing up for our Emergency Services Volunteer (ESV) program where you will be provided with free safety training and can join our team. This minimal investment of time could yield life-saving benefits for you and those around you.

Threats and hazards have been categorized as Natural, Technological, and Human-Caused. The City of Palo Alto is one of the few Bay Area municipal governments to complete a Threat and Hazard Identification Risk Assessment (THIRA). See  

The THIRA lists some of the anticipated consequences of a major quake in our area, including:

  • Severe damage to homes, businesses, government buildings, utilities, roads, and other critical infrastructure;
  • Fires burning out of control;
  • City staff and other employees of essential services, such as hospitals and schools, are unable to come to work.

Finally, please mark your calendars to attend the Silicon Valley Safety & Preparedness Fair coming up on Saturday, July 27, from 12-4pm at the Stanford Shopping Center. Details at  

Last Updated: June 7, 2019