New Jersey Proves Earthquakes Happen Everywhere – Is Your State Next?

If on the morning of April 5, New Jersey residents had been asked to predict what crisis they might face that day, I’m guessing an earthquake would have been low on the list.

But that’s exactly what they got. The 4.8-magnitude quake shook buildings from Maryland to Maine. Not to mention rattling the nerves of millions living in that section of the East Coast.

It was one of the biggest New Jersey earthquakes in recent history. And the strongest recorded in the Northeast in over a decade. Among the 50 aftershocks were a 4.0-magnitude later that day and a 2.6 five days later.

As of this writing, scientists have not found the fault line. Meaning they will have a difficult time predicting the likelihood, location, and magnitude of the next earthquake in this area. 

Wherever you live, the East Coast quake should be a wake-up call. It’s a reminder that earthquakes – and other disasters – can occur anytime and anywhere. Are you prepared for the next one?

One-Half Million Quakes Annually

An average of 500,000 earthquakes occurs globally each year. About 100,000 are felt by humans.

A magnitude 7.0 to 7.9 earthquake is considered “major.” A quake over 8.0 is called “great.”

The U.S. Geological Society estimates there are an average of 18 major and one great earthquakes annually.

The most recent great quake occurred in Indonesia in 2012, measuring 8.6. Taiwan experienced a 7.4 quake just two weeks ago.

California & Texas Among Most Vulnerable

With 4Patriots located in Tennessee, I decided to investigate our chances for an earthquake.

It turns out some areas in Tennessee near the New Madrid fault line are vulnerable. They have up to a 74% chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 100 years.

Other areas near the Southern Appalachian Seismic Zone in the eastern part of the Volunteer State have up to a 36% chance.

The No. 1 state for earthquakes? Alaska. Followed in order by Oklahoma, California, Nevada, and Wyoming. Plus Hawaii, Kansas, Idaho, and Montana. Texas rounds out the top 10.

Beware San Andreas Fault Line

If you live in California, you are aware of the dangers. The well-known San Andreas fault runs along the state’s coastline for 750 miles.

According to scientists, recent measurements have been a bit unusual. Most believe it’s a matter of time before “The Big One” strikes.

And the scariest thing is that major cities – Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego – are located near the line.

Some say that since a significant quake occurs along this line every 22 years, the next one is due within two years.

They Come Out of Nowhere

An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust creating seismic waves. It’s usually caused by the rupture of a geological fault.

It can also be caused by volcanic activity and landslides. Or mine blasts and nuclear tests. The point of initial rupture is the “focus” or “hypocenter.” The point at ground level directly above is the “epicenter.”

A quake can occur quickly. And can cause incredible damage and loss of life.

We can see a storm brewing. And we usually receive plenty of advance notice for a hurricane. But earthquakes seemingly come out of nowhere.

But You Can Prepare

Still, there are preparations you can make. And knowing what to do during and after an earthquake could save your life.   

As with other potential crises, have an emergency response plan in place just in case.

Assemble your 72-hour survival kit. Have fully-stocked bug-out bags ready near an exit. Organize important documents.

And prepare an emergency supply of nonperishable food and water. Plus backup power to keep lights on and devices charged.

Before a Quake Strikes

Here are four things you can do to get ready for an earthquake:

  • Practice your disaster plan with family members. Then it will seem like second nature if you have to deal with an actual quake. 
  • If you live in an area where earthquakes are common or even occasional, make sure your shelves are fastened securely to walls. Also ensure breakables are in latched cabinets. Keep heavier objects on lower shelves. Take rollers off heavy furniture. 
  • Know where utility shut-off switches are in the house. 
  • Don’t buy into earthquake myths. Doorframes are not safe to stand under. Earthquakes don’t always occur in the morning. Sheltering next to sturdy furniture is not better than sheltering under it. 

During a Quake

Most earthquake-related injuries occur due to flying debris and falling objects. Following are four steps you can take during an earthquake:

  • Shield yourself immediately, whether indoors or out. Get under sturdy furniture. If in bed, cover your head with a pillow and hang on.
  • If you’re indoors, stay away from windows, shelves, and hanging fixtures. Get under a desk if you’re near one.
  • If you’re outdoors, stay clear of buildings. Plus trees, utility poles, streetlights, and construction equipment.
  • If you’re in a vehicle, stop as soon as you’re away from tall objects. Stay in the car and avoid bridges and ramps. 

After a Quake

Aftershocks can be equally deadly as the original earthquake. Below are four actions you can take to avoid injury following a quake:

  • Listen to emergency radio. Pay attention to mainstream media reports about local damage.
  • Don’t assume you’re now safe. Structures loosened or uprooted during a quake may be standing but could fall. 
  • Meet family members and/or co-workers in a safe place. Make necessary plans to deal with the aftermath.
  • Watch out for hanging wires, fires, gas leaks, and falling glass. Plus uneven ground and other problems caused by the quake and aftershocks.

Earthquakes may be rarer than other disasters. But they happen. As you are used to me saying… be prepared.



  • I have never been in a earthquakes but what good good information - May 13, 2024

    I appreciate the video. Thank you so much.

  • James W Cole - April 21, 2024

    The earthquake article had good, solid, helpful information. Straight forward with minimal sales pitches.


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