Things got shaky in Reno over winter break as the Biggest Little City was rocked by almost 100 earthquakes on Thursday, Jan. 11. However, if you were in Reno at the time of the quakes, you probably didn’t feel them.
Out of the 90 earthquakes recorded by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Seismological Laboratory, the highest recorded quakes were four 2.0 magnitude earthquakes. Only 38 people reported feeling these quakes, but most of the time these type of earthquakes don’t cause enough commotion to be noticed.
“We’re monitoring the swarm closely and updating local emergency management officials in case this sequence evolves to a larger, damaging earthquake,” said Ken Smith, associate director at the UNR seismological lab.
Officials are encouraging people in Reno and the surrounding areas to make sure they are ready should larger earthquakes occur.
“When we feel these small earthquakes, it’s nature’s way of telling us that Nevada, and Washoe County, is earthquake country,” Washoe County Emergency Manager Aaron Kenneston said.
Ready.gov encourages people to secure items in their house or workplace that could fall over and cause injury should an earthquake occur. These include bookshelves, TVs, mirrors and more.
They also encourage people to plan ahead by storing supplies and important documents that could be useful in an emergency situation. Families should have an emergency communication plan in place to connect after a major incident.
If you are in an earthquake, drop to the floor and cover your head and neck. From there, crawl to a safe place if you are in danger from falling objects. Stay away from glass windows and outside doors. It is a common tip to stand under a doorway during a quake, but Ready.gov does not recommend this as a doorway does not offer protection from falling debris. Stay where you are until the earthquake is over and do not run outside while it is happening.
If you are outside, get away from buildings, and drop and cover your head and neck until it is over. If you are in a vehicle, pull over if you have control and stop the vehicle. Do not stop near buildings or overpasses.
Once it is over, find safety and call for help if necessary. Ready.gov has more tips for specific situations after earthquakes — such as if you are trapped or what to do if injured. Be prepared for aftershocks and other events after an earthquake.
Should an emergency situation happen, the UNR seismological lab encourages people to be self-reliant for three days without utilities, electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or local services and possibly a response from police, fire or rescue.
Neighboring California has a history of earthquakes, as it falls along the San Andreas fault line, which sometimes causes earthquakes that can be felt in areas of Nevada.
More information recorded from these earthquakes can be found at www.seismo.unr.edu.
Madeline Purdue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @madelinepurdue.