Prepare for Earthquakes

Earthquakes Awareness and Preparedness

Our region is subject to earthquakes, which strike without warning and are usually followed by numerous aftershocks. Those aftershocks may occur periodically for several weeks or even months.          

While impacts to different buildings will vary, the area near the exterior walls of a building is the most dangerous place to be during an earthquake. Windows, facades, and architectural details are often the first parts of the building to collapse. In fact, the major threat of injury during an earthquake is from falling objects and debris, and many injuries are sustained while entering or leaving buildings. 

Earthquake damage in Napa, CA - Photo courtesy KQED


Therefore, during the earthquake it is important to stay away from this danger zone - stay inside if you are inside, and outside if you are outside. Taking the proper actions such as "Drop, Cover, and Hold On," can save lives and reduce the risk of injury.      

The City of Half Moon Bay participates in the Great California Shake Out every year, which is an opportunity for people to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes and learn more about disaster preparation. The City recommends that you and your family or business participate annually. 


Deep sea earthquakes can cause a tidal wave, or tsunami, and that's a risk we face here on the west coast. While less likely than most other types of disasters, it’s a good idea to keep tsunami in mind when assessing your home’s disaster preparedness. Here are some tsunami information resources: