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New Movie San Andreas Rattles Viewers – What You Should Know

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New Movie San Andreas Rattles Viewers – What You Should Know

“It’s just a movie”. While those words are often associated with classic thriller films of yesteryear, they may still hold some credence today. That is, especially when watching the weekend’s upcoming blockbuster action hit, San Andreas. Yes, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson looks pretty sweet, riding in a helicopter, performing heroic feats of rescue and muscle-having; however, much of the fictional movie is just that: false. That’s not to say that the threat of a large scale earthquake shouldn’t be something that is recognized and taken into serious consideration; it’s just important to know all of the facts first before panicking.

If there’s one thing that you should take away from your movie-going experience this weekend, it is that earthquake preparedness is as incredibly important as it is under-appreciated. While San Andreas serves as a good reminder of the fact that we Californians live in “earthquake country”, there’s no need to fret about such fantastical horrors of the ground “literally opening up” or a west coast earthquake so strong that it will be felt “on the east coast”. This far fetched fodder is simply added for entertainment value so it shouldn’t frighten you too much.

To ease your mind, here is a quick rundown of the varied and over exaggerated situations that have been popularized as fact by the highly anticipated earthquake thriller, San Andreas:

  • The presence of a tsunami in San Francisco – Tsunamis are caused by underwater quakes and could not occur due to seismic activity along the San Andreas Fault.
  • The gargantuan size of the earth-shattering quake – While there is constant talk of the “big one” among seismologists and California news outlets, how big is big? The Californians of the film San Andreas are rocked by 9.0 and higher seismic activity. Although this is possible – refer to the 1960 magnitude 9.5 quake in Chile – it is highly unusual for a quake of this magnitude to occur.
  • The ignored “warning” or “prediction” prior to the quake – In the film, the presence of magnetic pulses and other such activity prior to the quake striking is what clues in seismologists as to the impending doom brought on by an earthquake of epic proportions. From animals to humans, magnetic pulses, odd weather, and more, it is not possible for any of these to “forecast” an earthquake. While it would make life a lot different for those of us who live along the San Andreas Fault line – and likely much simpler – there is no evidence to support the theory that earthquakes can be predicted.
  • The strength of the quake being enough to be felt on the east coast – Again, this is a mere overestimation for the sake of shock value. Earthquakes are strong – there’s no doubt about that – but it is not possible to see an earthquake that is strong enough to hit on one side of the country and then be felt on the other.

So, go ahead and enjoy the movie – that’s what movies are meant for – but, while you find yourself glued to the edge of your seat, hot buttered popcorn-filled mouth agape, as you watch a massive tsunami threaten to swallow up the golden gate bridge whole, it’s good to be reminded of the best ways to prepare for the inevitable so that when the “big one” hits, it won’t seem nearly as bad for you as San Andreas might make it out to be.

  • Assemble an earthquake kit and keep it in an easily accessible place.
  • Gather together a first aid kit and keep that in your earthquake kit.
  • Know and regularly practice an escape route from your home and spaces that you frequent.
  • Bolt down heavy furniture and fixtures around your home.
  • Get your home’s foundation inspected and, if necessary, get your home retrofitted so that it too will be prepared for the event of a large earthquake.
  • Should an earthquake strike, remember to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

With this knowledge, you should be able to hit the cinema, ready to be entertained while still remaining informed. Preparedness today could be a life saver tomorrow!