You might not know this, but today is the 199th anniversary of the first New Madrid (Missouri) quake in recorded U.S. history. You can read about the series of massive quakes in 1811-1812 at the USGS site here. The Mississippi River ran backwards, and reportedly, church bells rang on the East Coast. You can click here to see how likely your state is to be affected by an earthquake. Look here if you're not in the United States. As you can see, pretty much everyone has a decent chance of getting negatively impacted by a quake. And there's plenty of other disasters that can hose you over good, too.
So what do you do, besides stock up on wine? Drop, Cover and Hold On: get down on your hands and knees and get under a sturdy table or desk. Read about it, and tell everyone in your family what to do. You may have seen an email that talks about a 'Triangle of Life' and tells you, pretty convincingly, to get next to a couch or other large object instead of getting underneath something. This technique has been thoroughly debunked for most situations, and the writer is well-known in the emergency management community to be a major crackpot. You can read about the controversy here, if you want, or a quick search will give you tons of articles.
What else should you do? I don't want to bore you with a big long list of gibberish, so check out these links for what you should have and do to be ready:
Maybe an emergency kit would be a super gift for some of your hard to shop for friends and family, hmmm? And here are some sites for kids:
And start getting ready now for February- It's Earthquake Awareness Month! I don't know about you guys but I love an occasion when a hardhat would be a perfect gift.