In the Northwest we are at similar risk for major quakes and many of us remember the 6.8 Nisqually quake in 2001.
Like Japan, we are at risk for what scientists call megathrust earthquakes, a phenomenon that occurs along subduction zones like our Juan De Fuca plate that is sliding underneath the North American plate. A megathrust quake caused the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. These events happen every several hundred years and scientists think the last one occurred in 1700 in the Northwest which means we are due.
What makes these quakes different is their intensity and duration. A 9.0 megathrust quake along the Cascadia subduction zone would likely cause massive tremors that would last for 3 to 5 minutes. The japan quake lasted about 6 minutes.
In response to this possibility I have created a disaster kit that goes beyond what the government suggests you have in case of emergency.
The only question now is whether to keep it in the car or in the apartment.
What do you think? Anything I forgot?