Earthquakes are not new to those of us in Midwest America. Over the years, we’ve seen many come and go. We might even be tempted to assume that such phenomena are nothing but natural occurrences. But a recent finding by the US Geological Society is causing us to think again.
USGS: Earthquakes in 2017
Just this year, the USGS came out with a report indicating that earthquakes affecting Americans will be extremely frequent in 2017. That may not be a surprise. But the bad part is, the earthquakes are predicted to be detrimental – 4.0 scale or greater – and primarily human-caused. Such high-level earthquakes will potentially pose significant threats to home and business owners in the Midwest.
Areas with the highest risk, according to George Dvorsky, a writer for Gizmodo, “include Oklahoma, southern Kansas, and the Raton Basin (an area in Colorado and New Mexico).” The main factor of these human-caused earthquakes? Per the USGS, it’s primarily the process of disposing oilfield wastewater deep into the ground.
Due to restrictions on wastewater injection, the USGS has suggested that earthquakes will be fewer in number this year than last. However, the danger of powerful earthquakes is by all means still an issue. According to the report, around four million Americans in total are at risk of experiencing earthquakes – both natural and human-caused – before the year’s end. Given that Oklahoma experienced three 5.0+ scale earthquakes in 2016, concerns for what this year has in store are continuing to grow.
What to Do
What this means for you, as a home or business owner in Midwest America, is that preparation should be a priority. Ready.gov outlines several steps to take before, during and after earthquakes to avoid unnecessary damages. Such includes getting together an emergency supply list, finding emergency contacts and locating safe spots in your home.
Another measure you can take to prepare for earthquakes is to have a foundation repair specialist evaluate your foundation. Having a foundation that is in good condition will help to prevent structural settlement.
George Dvorsky, “Here’s Where Americans Can Expect Earthquakes to Cause the Most Damage in 2017”, http://gizmodo.com/here-s-where-americans-can-expect-earthquakes-to-cause-1792869023
Ready.gov, “Earthquakes”, https://www.ready.gov/earthquakes