12:00 AM, July 25, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:27 AM, May 08, 2015

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Dogs and other animals can “sense” when an earthquake is going to strike: It's impossible to determine whether a dog is behaving in an unusual manner.
Big quakes always occur early in the morning: The 1940 Imperial Valley quake was at 9:36pm, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake at 5:02pm.
The ground can open up and swallow people: You've seen the image in books, movies and TV shows. That's not how it works. If a fault could open up, there wouldn't be any friction.
The safest place to be in an earthquake is under a doorway: That's true only if you live in an unreinforced adobe home. In a modern structure the doorway is no stronger than the rest of the building. Actually, you're more likely to be hurt (by the door swinging wildly) in a doorway. And in a public building, you could be in danger from people trying to hurry outside. If you're inside, get under a table or desk and hang on to it.
We have good building codes, so we must have good buildings: That's true -- provided you're talking about buildings constructed under current building codes. In the case of older buildings, retrofitting -- bringing the building up to modern standards -- is up to the building's owners.
There's nothing I can do : It's true that earthquakes can't be stopped, but you can be prepared. You can practice drills at home with your family and at work.


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