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Photo: SDubi (Shutterstock) It’s Monday morning, so let’s talk about disasters! This week’s disaster is the earthquake. These seismic catastrophes are the most deadly of all natural disasters. An average of 60,000 people die due to quakes in a given year, a fact made doubly tragic because so many of those deaths could have been prevented through simple engineering: Most earthquake deaths are caused by collapsing buildings, but we know how to build virtually earthquake-proof structures. Those practices just haven’t been fully implemented in developing countries. Understanding earthquakes is the key to surviving one An earthquake is the result of seismic waves caused by a sudden release of energy stored in the Earth’s crust. Tectonic plates grinding together for hundreds of thousands of years build up massive amounts of tension that can be released at once in a violent series of waves that shake the very foundations of the earth. (Earthquakes are absolutely terrifying.) California, Alaska and Hawaii are in the most danger from quakes in the US, but nowhere is entirely safe. There’s just a lower probability of an earthquakes in places like the Midwest and Northeast. Check out this map to see how likely a quake is where you live. If you live in a seismic death-zone like Los Angeles (like me), you should take earthquake preparedness very seriously—it’s going to happen and it could be extremely bad. If you live somewhere stable, you should prepare too, because, hey, you never know. What to do before an […]