Focus of annual Quakeville shifts to Cubberley | September 7, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 7, 2012

Focus of annual Quakeville shifts to Cubberley

Disaster event to prepare residents for living in a Red Cross shelter

by Sue Dremann

As cameras pan across an American Red Cross shelter, rows and rows of cots contain weary, shell-shocked residents. This is the aftermath of yet another natural disaster, in which hundreds of people with uncertain futures cling to a few snatched-up belongings amid a sea of strangers.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at


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Posted by Mark
a resident of another community
on Sep 9, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I think it's a wonderful idea Palo Alto residents will have an opportunity to experience a disaster shelter before a real emergency. For children, the first time in a shelter can be a terrifying experience - it is noisy, cramped, unfamiliar and, well, you're esentially breathing on strangers. Getting a chance to experience before hand what it is like will help relieve some of the children's (and parents) anxiety and hopefully encourage Palo Alto residents to consider their personal preparedness.

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Posted by What-A-Joke
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 10, 2012 at 7:33 am

What a massive waste of time. The idea that hundreds, or thousands, of homes here in Palo Alto are going to collapse is nuts. We went through a 7.9M (Magnitude) earthquake in '89, and how many homes collapsed?

This model suggests that homes are going to collapse all over the bay area, so that there would be no place for people to go. Well, if that is the case, then it stands to reason that most of the region's infrastructure would also collapse. Electricity, gasoline, food and virtually all social services. How long do the unqualified PAN "leaders" believe that they are going to operate this "shelter" without fundamentals--like water and food?

If there were ever such a catastrophe--people would flee to places where the social network was still functioning.

The people pushing this idea have no realistic exposure to real-world disasters, or even common sense.

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Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Sep 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

The following comment was moved from a duplicate thread:

Posted by Annette, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm

Kudos to Sue Dremann for bringing Quakeville 2012 to life with her wonderful writing. It is shaping up to be a wonderful event.

I want to give credit where credit is due. I am not the co-chair of Quakeville...It is Lydia Kou who is the guiding light and visionary for the effort. I am just a member of the planning team.

I invite you to join us - watch experience and learn what life might be like after a disaster.

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Posted by george
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 10, 2012 at 3:25 pm

What a Joke. The Loma Prieta earthquake was a 6.9, not a 7.9 magnitude quake. The epicenter was more that 80 miles away but severely damaged the Bay Bridge and Oakland viaduct with people killed and injured.

No one can predict the magnitude of the next quake, the amount and severity of the damage, and how many structures ruined or destroyed. We were lucky the Marina district (SF) fire was a minor one and could be contained by available resources. What if gas lines ruptured all over the Peninsula, and we had a San Bruno explosion and disaster multiplied many times?

Every prudent person has to prepare for at least a 7 day period without electricity, water, and perhaps shelter. Quakeville is meant to be a wake-up call. First responders will be in short supply; so we'll be mostly on our own or perhaps with some help from neighbors. Leaving the area may not be an option because of blocked roadways - and even close to empty gas tanks - not to mention fear of looting.

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Posted by Jim
a resident of another community
on Sep 11, 2012 at 3:04 am

George - right on. I think the value of these type of exercises is that they show people that you do NOT want to end up in a shelter if you can at all help it. That means preparation not only with earthquake supplies so you can stay self sufficient, but also with making sure your home is properly braced for an earthquake. Things like anchoring a home's foundation and hardening walls are all affordable steps homeowners can take to mitigate the loss of a home during a large earthquake. The USGS has some fantastic material on how homeowners can prepare.

The nefarious thing with earthquakes and other disasters is that when we go without them for a long time we get complacent. As a result emergency services and disaster preparation get overlooked...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.