Town Square

Post a New Topic

Experts to talk quake predictions, social media in disasters

Original post made on Jan 10, 2018

The ground's brief 4.4-magnitude jolt on Jan. 4 was a reminder that Bay Area residents are sitting on top of a potential disaster.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 4:25 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 10, 2018 at 10:37 pm

It seems to me from recent local "situations" if not "emergencies" that the go to place for people in Palo Alto is now From power outages to other local issues such as Ross Road and schools renaming, this is the website where we turn to find out information. I think that if the recent earthquake had occurred during the day, or the recent flooding of Oregon had occurred during the morning commute, that we would need a local place for residents to go to find information as quickly as possible. The fact that a website needs to be manned by a City official has been proven to be unnecessary as someone will automatically start a thread where people can share their information.

It used to be the case that PAW Town Square was the go to place. This is no longer the case.

Twitter feeds from PAPD, PAFD, Utilities, etc. is useful. Also the Facebook pages for the same. These agencies also post on The emergency alert on our phones has been overused and many people have now disabled the alerts due to non relevant alerts.

Social media is indeed a useful tool and getting an official or semi official central site for sharing useful information in an emergency seems to make a lot of sense. Otherwise, we will probably find one on our own.

Posted by Ellie
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 11, 2018 at 10:53 am

So...what happens when there's no power like in the Loma Prieta Earthquake? The power was off for several hours. Many people turned on their car radios to find out what was happening. If "the big one" knocks out power sources, especially for cell phone towers, what will we do? Rely on our car radios again?

Posted by ReallyLiveHere
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 11, 2018 at 11:58 am

ReallyLiveHere is a registered user.

@Ellie You plan ahead, and have a designated meeting place for your family to get back together.

Keep a battery-operated radio with your emergency supplies.

If you want to be sophisticated, keep goTenna mesh units plugged in and set up as relay stations at your home and work. This will likely enable you to stay in touch for a few hours after the power goes out.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 11, 2018 at 6:23 pm

This is a subject that needs to be covered and re-freshed periodically, so thank you for the article here. Warnings, communication methods, preparation are all important topics, in my opinion.
Meanwhile, it’s also helpful to include the current recommendation for several-day self-sufficiency (how much water to have stored, reminder to check and maintain a flashlight, consider some emergency items to keep in your car, etc.) I’m an interested member of the public, and I try to remind other people about this preparation. The region is transitory, with many young adults moving to SF. from anywhere, and I find (in a small sample) little awareness of this topic.... I appreciate it when government officials and members of the news media recommend that individuals prepare (and how they should do this). The community will be in better shape if more people are prepared if/when we experience a large quake.

Posted by Annette
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 13, 2018 at 9:51 am

Thanks Sue for a well written article.
Hope this inspires folks to think about this issue, be prepared, and of course, come to the event on Jan 18th at 7 PM at City Hall.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 13, 2018 at 11:23 am

What were Disaster Preparedness people in Hawaii thinking for a few minutes this morning?

Posted by Sophie
a resident of another community
on Jan 14, 2018 at 11:22 pm

@musical. I was in Maui when the alert came through my iPhone. Although the hotel receptionist told me to ignore the message when I called them, because they receive similar alert quite often recently, a couple minutes later, hotel announced the emergency through broadcast system, and urged all guests to go to conference room, ball room on ground floor, and do not stay outside, pool, and guest rooms. We were panicked and rushed to designated room with as many valuables as possible I could grab, in addition to water, iPhone and a coat to cover my nightgown. It took 20 minutes the hotel to announce ALL CLEAR, however, I realized I was not prepared for such emergency situation. If there are classes or seminar related to emergency preparedness, I definitely will attend.

Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 15, 2018 at 9:38 am

@Sophie, same in Japan a week earlier - Web Link - false earthquake warning.

Should be an interesting discussion on January 18.

Posted by annette
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 18, 2018 at 10:20 am

I wanted to comment on the discussion about Hawaii. We can learn from their mistakes. There is no question that a comprehensive early warning system is needed for Palo Alto. Stanford has installed sirens for this purpose. Many other states as well as most European countries are ahead of us.

Although the event tonight will not talk about the comprehensive approach, the discussion on ShakeAlert and the use of social media should prove to be informative and interesting,

See you there.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

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

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Boichik Bagels is opening its newest – and largest – location in Santa Clara this week
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 2,495 views

I Do I Don't: How to build a better marriage Page 15
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,014 views

By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 894 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 30 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away almost $10 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.