The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake: Remembrances and Reminders

This October 17 marks the 31st anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. For those of us who experienced this disastrous quake (it registered 6.9 on the Richter scale), it was a surreal, not to mention terrifying, experience. Even more ominous is that the odds of us experiencing another quake within the next few years of this magnitude (or worse) in the Bay Area is 76%. The remembrance of The Loma Prieta quake should serve as reminder of the importance of preparing for the next big quake.

Whether you want to learn the science behind earthquakes, learn about first-hand accounts, or help your family prepare for the next one, fortunately there are ample resources available.

San Jose Public Library Resources about Earthquakes

Earthquake Protection , book cover
Earthquakes: A Practical Survival Guide, book cover
Prepper's Guide to Surviving Natural Disasters, book cover
Are You Ready? How to Prepare for An Earthquake, book cover
How to Survive An Earthquake, book cover
Earthquake , book cover
Earthquake in Loma Prieta, California, 1989 , book cover
California Earthquakes: Science, Risk, and the Politics of Hazard Mitigation, book cover
Deadliest Earthquakes, book cover
Investigating Plate Tectonics, Earthquakes, and Volcanoes, book cover

Other Resources

  • Earthquake Warning California - Did you know that there are motion sensors located in the ground that can detect earthquakes before we can even feel them? This site, managed by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), provides information on signing up for alerts which would give California residents a few seconds advance warning of a major earthquake.
  • Family Disaster Plan - Red Cross provides tools to help your family create an emergency plan.
  • California Shakeout - International Shake Out Day is October 15 and you can register your family or your organization to participate in this annual shakeout event. Learn important earthquake safety tips, such as how to "drop, cover, and hold on".
  • Earthquake Safety Checklist (PDF) - Download an earthquake emergency checklist compiled by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency).
  • Ready Wrigley - The CDC Center for Preparedness and Response provides earthquake preparedness materials for children.
  • Stories from the Epicenter Launch Online Event - Register to attend an upcoming Zoom event on Friday, October 16 to commemorate the podcast series: Stories from the Epicenter. This ten-part documentary podcast examines the historical Loma Prieta Earthquake through first hand accounts and other historical artifacts. The virtual event includes a moderated discussion with the producers followed by a Q&A, and clips from the podcast will also be shown.
  • USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) - Offers a wealth of information and statistics on earthquakes, including real time earthquakes, research, and Great Shakeout information. Additionally, peruse this Loma Prieta Earthquake Fact Sheet on their website.