Lock your valuables
When you park on the refuge, store your valuables in your locked car.
Studies have shown that the last great subduction zone earthquake took place 300 years ago. Intervals between such quakes are in the hundreds of years, so predicting the next one is difficult. But research suggests that eventually such a quake will occur. Disastrous effects are possible when visiting the redwood region; be prepared by following these precautions:
- Falling objects cause the most deaths during earthquakes. If you are indoors, take cover under a sturdy desk, table, or other furniture. Hold onto your shelter and stay there until shaking stops. Stay clear of windows, fireplaces, wood stoves, and heavy furniture or appliances. Stay inside!
- If outside when a quake hits, get into the open and away from trees, power lines, and buildings.
- If you are driving when a quake hits, stay away from bridges, overpasses, and tunnels and avoid stopping under trees, light posts, power lines, or signs.
- If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rock and other debris that could be loosened by the earthquake.
- If you are at the beach or near the coast when a quake hits, tsunamis can arrive within minutes. Move to higher ground (at least 100 feet) immediately, preferably on foot.
Tsunami is a series of ocean waves most commonly caused by an earthquake beneath the ocean floor. They can be caused by local quakes, such as in 1992, when a Cape Mendocino quake produced a tsunami that hit Humboldt Bay within 20 minutes. Tsunamis can also be caused by quakes in far away areas, such as in 1964, when an earthquake in Alaska produced a destructive tsunami that inundated Crescent City.
Tsunamis have killed in the past. They are always a possible threat in the seismically active North Coast region, however, destructive tsunamis are rare and shouldn't ruin your visit to the beach.
In the event that you do find yourself near the coast when an earthquake hits, be aware of the following guidelines:
- Move to higher ground immediately. A tsunami may be coming within minutes.
- If there is no high ground, move inland away from the coastline.
- Stay away from the coast. Later waves are often higher than the first. Waves may continue to arrive for hours.
- Listen to your radio for the "all clear" signal.