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Want to know if you're living in an earthquake danger zone? There's an app for that




Screenshot of the new Earthquake Hazards Zone App
Screenshot of the new Earthquake Hazards Zone App
California Geological Survey

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Where you are right now, that could be one of the spots that'd be leveled in an earthquake.

Your house, your work, your local school — if you're curious at all about the danger level of any of those places, well, there's an app for that.

It comes from the California Geological Survey (CGS), and it shows you a map of all of the quake hotspots.

Just search for an address, click on the corresponding plot of land and see three different types of quake hazard:

Tim McCrick, who heads the Earthquake Hazards Program with CGS, said the app was created because the maps CGS had were hard for people to access and understand.

So what was happening was people who were going through a real estate transaction and showing up at the table to sign all the papers and then were confronted with a natural hazards disclosure form, and that was the first inking that they might be affected by one of these ground failure hazards that we map.

If this information seems alarming, don't get too worried, McCrink said; this tool isn't meant to scare people, just let them be proactive about potential problems with earthquakes in their area.

We know that within any one of these zones, it's only a small proportion that will actually suffer from that ground failure hazard. Finding out after the disaster happens is probably the worst time to find out that you’re subject to one of these ground failure hazards. So the idea is to get the information out that there might be a problem so that the hazard can be investigated.

But it's never a bad idea to be prepared, so here are McCrink's tips to be ready for a quake:

​And if you feel the ground start to shake, McCrink says the old 'Drop, Cover and Hold On' is still the standard safety procedure.