California lies on one of the most active faults on the United Sates, the San Andreas Fault, which runs from the middle of the southern part of the state near San Diego, then west toward the coast and north up the coast to north of San Francisco. It runs for roughly 810 miles and forms the tectonic boundary between the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate.
Ask any Californian and they will tell you that the last major earthquake to strike our state was back in the 90s, with the devastating Northridge earthquake of 1994. Yet this is by no means is the largest earthquake on record to hit California.
The last massive earthquake on record in California was the great San Francisco earthquake (and resulting fire) of 1906, which was estimated to be 7.9 on the Richter scale and resulted in an estimated 3,000 deaths. The quake stretched 296 miles north and south along the fault, and shaking was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles, and as far inland as central Nevada. The earthquake and resulting fire are remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States, with economic impact comparable to Hurricane Katrina.
Recently the University of California Irvine and Arizona State University have determined that California is overdue for another major earthquake. Scholars have concluded that major earthquakes in relation to the San Andreas Fault occur every 45-144 years on average.
Therefore, our fair region of California is unfortunately far overdue for another colossal earthquake. Experts suggest the next earthquake could range anywhere from 7.0 and up, thus creating chaos and devastation in many heavily populated California cities.
Now more than ever is the time to prepare for the obvious reality of another impending earthquake occurring in our near future. Older structures can collapse completely, trapping loved ones, and creating lasting injuries and even in the most extreme cases, death.
However, these disastrous results can be reasonably prevented in many cases by having work done on the foundation of the building, such as bolting a structure to its foundation (also called earthquake retrofitting), bracing cripple walls, or even in cases of severe age or deterioration, foundation replacement. Such work is beyond the capability of a do-it-yourselfer, so a competent foundation contractor should be hired.
Therefore, as a California resident, before earthquake predictions become a reality one should take every precaution to protect their homes and their safety by securing the foundations of their homes and/or business.