San Andreas Fault

Blake Murphy

Dear Families of California,

"Every one should live each day like it could be the day of the Big One" says Field (Zielinski). When will the next earthquake hit? To the people and families that live near the fault, you should be prepared for one to happen in the near future. Your lives and saftey are at risk.

San Andreas Fault

The San Andreas Fault is the fault line between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate. These two plates slide past each other with the Pacific going northwest and the North American sliding to the southeast. These aren't the only fault lines in California but it is the most worrisome of the faults because of what it can do and because of the people who live near it (Zielinski). So if the San Andreas Fault did rupture it would more than likely cause the other faults to shift causing an even bigger earthquake. The fault is over 800 miles long and 10 miles deep (Schulz and Robert) the quake would already big large and with the other faults going off as well the earthquake would cause a lot of destruction to a lot of places. To go along with that fact the, fault hasn't ruptured in more than 150 years and it should rupture between every 110 and 140 years (Zielinski) this has caused more and more tension to build up in the faults which will cause a lager earthquake obviously when it ruptures. These three factors are all major keys in how large and how much damage the next earthquake will do.

What to do

Many of the schools and other public buildings have ShakeOut drills which are like fire and tornado drills but just for earthquakes instead (Zielinski). This is one of the things people are doing to some what prepare for the earthquakes but there are also other things you can do. "On an individual level, homeowners can retrofit their homes to better hold up against shaking. People can also include fire extinguishers in their earthquake kits to put out little flames before they get out of hand" (Zielinski). There are also three other ways that can be done about earthquake safety. The first way is for buildings made in earthquake zones should be made to resist earthquake shaking. Building codes have also been improved in the last decade to help withstand the shaking. They are also tearing down or strengthening old buidlings that are prone to fall during earthquakes. The second way is selective use of land and not putting buildings and especially taller buildings near the fault so that they woud fall if an earthquake happened. The third and final line of defense is accurate prediction of earthquakes which is still being developed, but when it is developed a lot of lives will be saved because then people will be able to have enough time to evacuate (USGS). These ways are obviously not the only ways for better saftey but these are some good ones that could help save your life and lives of others when the big one does eventually happen.

Wrap up

Scientist have predicted that a large earthquake will occur on the fault in the near future, so you need to know how to stay safe during it. Even though the next major earthquake will probably not come unannounced (USGS) you still need to be prepared because moderate size, yet damaging earthquakes can still occur at anytime (USGS).


Imam, Jareen. "Overdue California Quake May Be More Powerful." CNN. Cable News Network, 15 Mar. 2016. Web. 04 Apr. 2016. <>.

Schulz, Sandra S., and Robert E. Wallace. "The San Andreas Fault."The San Andreas Fault. USGS, 11 Jan. 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2016. <>.

Weldon, Ray J., Thomas E. Fumal, Glenn P. Biasi, and Katherine M. Scharer. "Past and Future Earthquakes on the San Andreas Fault."Science 308.5724 (2005): 966. Science in Context. Web. 4 Apr. 2016.

Zielinski, Sara. "What Will Really Happen When San Andreas Unleashes the Big One?" Smithsonian. Smithsonian, 28 May 2015. Web. 04 Apr. 2016. <>. (Image and Graph)