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Old 03-19-2011, 06:31 PM
2 posts, read 13,666 times
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Hi - We are transferring to San Diego from Chicago with two young children. I've read about the great weather and would be absolutely thrilled to move, except for my one fear of earthquakes. Given the recent Tokyo disaster, my fears have increased further. Can I get input from folks in San Diego - are earthquakes a common occurrence? How do children deal with them?

Also, I'd love to hear any other advice on schools (near Qualcomm). Thanks for any advice.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:05 PM
Location: San Diego
189 posts, read 913,371 times
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Most earthquakes in the San Diego region are very mild and do no damage at all. Unlike other areas of California, the fault systems seem to be less active or less able to have a really large quake. And, as far as I know, a big earthquake like Japan isn't even capable in southern California.

We do have one major fault here that runs through the city and it's due for a large quake, but it's not predicted to be anywhere as large what you hear about in Japan or Alaska.

Most people here just shrug off earthquakes.
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Old 03-19-2011, 09:43 PM
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It helps if you are going to live in So Cal that you aren't afraid to die. There are earthquakes which do scare the hell out of you when they occur. I have been in a couple big ones. You have to get used to the tremors and occasionally seeing your chandelier swing for no apparent reason and things like that. Sooner or later the big one will hit. If someone is going to worry about it though, So Cal is not for them. But I would rather live a week in So Cal near the ocean, than 10 yrs in some of the hell holes a lot of people live, as well as the one I am about to leave. I figure if I die in San Diego, I won't have to worry about going to heaven because I will have already arrived.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:08 PM
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I've lived in CA on and off since 1969,mostly on. I have experienced a few miled tremors over the years. The strongest one I ever felt was the one last Easter centered in Northern Mexico across from Imperial County. I do not have a fear of earthquakes. San Diego is not in as much danger and Imperial County, Los Angeles County and the Bay area.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:34 PM
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Again it's not fear of earthquakes, but fear of Osama bin Forgotten.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:52 PM
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The San Andreas fault is the fault that everyone is afraid of. Most of the big earthquakes in California have been related to that fault. It runs right through LA and San Francisco, but runs far to the east of San Diego. There have never been any large, highly damaging earthquakes in San Diego in its recorded human history. We get seismic activity, but from quakes that are miles away, so the affect on life and property has been relatively small.

If you are afraid of earthquakes, you should feel much more comfortable in San Diego than in LA or SF.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:55 AM
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I've lived in CA for a very long time, since I was four. I'm now a senior citizen. I've been through numerous earthquakes and most of them are not all that scary. I wouldn't worry about your children. I raised five children and we all lived through them with little or no consequences.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:42 PM
Location: San Diego, CA
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San Diego doesn't normally get big earthquakes. We do get fairly regular small ones though but that's actually a good thing as it dissipates much of the tension and prevents it from building up into large quakes.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:57 PM
Location: Declezville, CA
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Lived in So Cal since 1955. I've only been hurt once because of an earthquake, which amounted to a big juicy laceration on my left arm.

A couple of years ago I tallied up the earthquake-related deaths in So Cal and posted it here at C-D. Can't remember what that figure was and I'm not going to take the time to research it again, but it was a very low number, especially when you factor in the how many years it represented. If I recall correctly, it factored in parts of two centuries and all of another.
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Old 03-22-2011, 01:57 AM
Location: Carlsbad, CA
76 posts, read 195,044 times
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If you live anywhere in California, earthquakes are a fact of life. Where can you live where you are not in danger of some natural disaster hitting you? The idea is, however, to be prepared.

I'm originally from L.A. but have lived in San Diego, on and off, for many years. People here are woefully ignorant about the possibility of a large quake. They will tell you they are small here, they will tell you they don't get them here as much, anyone who says that to you simply is in denial. We live on several very severe fault lines which are ripe to bust at the tune of possibly as large as a 7.5 on the Rose Canyon Fault. If Japan has taught us nothing, it has taught us not to be complacent.

That said, that does not mean this isn't a great place to live. As I say, the trick is being prepared. When you move in, you create an earthquake kit and you secure your furniture to the wall. If you own your home, you make sure your home is bolted to the foundation and you keep a wrench by the gas meter. I was living on the Central Coast during the San Simeon earthquake. We had very little damage, and I was safe because we had our furniture secured to the walls. Had it not been, I could have been seriously injured, seeing that a TV flew off the hutch right to where I had been sitting, but the hutch stood, as did the rest of our heavy, secured, furniture. Of course, it's not foolproof, nothing is, but you see how prepared Japan was and the damage they got was relatively small from the earthquake itself. Most of the damage was from the Tsunami. It's all about being prepared, not scared. (Not that they won't scare you, you just don't live your life in fear.)

I have been here for many quakes, large and small: the one last Easter was pretty scary (7.1 in Mexico). But again, there relatively few places you can live where you will not be subjected to natural disasters, practically, be it tornados or hurricanes, blizzards or whatever. You just need to find your comfort zone.

Also, when you look for a house, ask what kind of soil it's built on. If it's bedrock or solid soil, you're much better off than if it's some sort of sand or fill. (Think the Marina District in San Francisco and look up 'liquifaction.') You can also find out where fault lines are so that you are not buying on top of a 'known' fault.

Look at the USGS website. You will see thousands of earthquakes everyday, however, take a closer look and see how many of those are say ... 3.2 or above. You don't feel them below that. You will start to discover, that the threat is real, but unlike how they hawk it on the news, we don't spend our lives feeling the earth shake under our feet every day. We know it happens, they're scary when they happen, we know there is a very real possibility of a large on hitting, but not every one we feel causes damage. Those are ones in the 5.8 and above range. Look at the frequency of those on Welcome to the USGS - U.S. Geological Survey and consider your chances of being at the epicenter. Could you be? Of course. You could also be one of the lucky 'millions' that 'feel' it but wasn't 'in' it. They happen, be realistic, be prepared and don't let it run your life. That's the way to do it.

Good luck with your move, I think you'll be happy here. It's a great place to live.
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