Information sheet – ‘Living with earthquakes’

Assessment focuses: AF1–8


This piece is taken from Pupil B's work in geography. Pupils had been studying earthquakes and were asked to present their knowledge of the topic for a specific audience. Pupil B chose to write an information sheet for the people of San Francisco.

Pupil's work

Illustration of a pupil's work on geography

Living with earthquakesInformation sheet for the people of San FranciscoThis is important information about earthquakes to inform your future planning.Earthquakes occur when two techtonic or continental plates push against each other. They happen frequently, on land, around the West side of South America and around the Phillipines. There are also a few in the west of North Africa. According to research there is a 70% chance of an earthquake in San Francisco before 2030, an earthquake with the magnitude 6.7 or higher.To prepare for an earthquake, it is important that houses are built properly on strong foundations. Centres should be provided for homeless people without the money or resources to build a house or shelter that could survive an earthquake. In order to prepare fully and be completely aware of what the plate tectonics are doing, people should be alert at all times. Studying the earthquake of 1989 will help experts to predict where the earthquake will start. Finding out how regular earthquakes in the past have been in San Francisco will also help them to calculate when the next one will be.You should also look out for cracks in rocks where radon gas seeps out. The ground will start to bulge and local water levels may rise or decrease. By setting up sensitive instruments and being alert you can know when the quake is coming. Also observe animals to see if they are eating differently as this might signal a quake.To prepare people, it is good to have practice drills regularly, train emergency services and set up warning systems to let people know there will be an earthquake by radio, TV or Newspaper. Getting together emergency food, water and electricity will also be important. Making public buildings such as offices and schools strong and resistant is also very important for people's survival.If an earthquake occurs without warning the best places to go are under a table, in a doorway, or in a cellar deep in the ground. Keep away from glass and be careful of falling objects. TRY TO KEEP CALM AT ALL TIMES.