It occurred to us that we didn't know exactly what to do when they happen, given that we're on the second floor. Are we supposed to try getting out of the house? I read different websites and it sounds like the answer is no. Just stay put and cover your head. This is from FEMA's page:
* DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON on until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
* Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
* Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
* Use a doorway for shelter only if it is in close proximity to you and if you know it is a strongly supported, loadbearing doorway.
* Stay inside until shaking stops and it is safe to go outside. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.
* Stay there.
* Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
* Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits, and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 fatalities from the 1933 Long Beach earthquake occurred when people ran outside of buildings only to be killed by falling debris from collapsing walls. Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
Also, you're supposed to have a 72 hour 'survival kit'. I always put this off because I get hung up on where I'd put it. I guess what you have to assume is that your house won't be rubble. I think I'm going to put one in the trunk of my car, and another in our kitchen.
They have huge lists of stuff you should have but I think the main thing is water and flashlight and batteries, plus a first aid kit.
One of the GIS maps you can get off SFGOV is:
"This dataset represents the Liquefaction and Landslide Zones as determined bt the California Dept. of Conservation Division of Mines and Geology. Liquefaction is the transformation of a confined layer of sandy or silty water-satuated material into a liquid -like state because of earthquake shaking. San Francisco Building Code Section1804.5 requires a geotechnical investigation in seismic hazard zones."
That is one scary sounding map.