So, you’re wondering if Dallas has earthquakes? And if so, how often do they happen? This post will answer those questions and more.
A few earthquakes have been reported in the Dallas area. However, they are not a common occurrence. A major faultline in Dallas is currently inactive, but scientists continue to monitor it for seismic activity.
Dallas is no stranger to wild natural phenomena. Let’s look at the history of earthquakes in the Dallas area, what causes them, and how you can prepare for one.
The Big “D” Fault Line
In 2016, Southern Methodist University researchers discovered a major fault line running through the heart of Dallas, Texas.
The Big “D” Fault Line runs through some of the city’s most crucial infrastructure, including airports and the medical district.
SMU researchers found the fault when they reviewed data from 20 portable earthquake monitors installed near the earthquake sites.
While the fault is not currently active, it has the potential to cause significant damage if it were ever to rupture.
As a result, seismologists are closely monitoring the fault line and working to develop plans to protect the city in the event of an earthquake.
In the meantime, residents of Dallas can rest assured that they are living in one of the most seismically stable areas in the country.
Potential Causes of Earthquakes in Dallas, Texas
Experts believe that the cause of earthquakes in Dallas-Fort Worth is human activity, specifically the drilling and injection of deep wastewater underground.
Scientists have theorized that increased seismic activity may be due to the high volume of fluids pumped at oil and gas fields.
How an Earthquake would Affect Dallas
Earthquakes along the Dallas-Fort Worth fault line are likely to have more significant effects on people and property than elsewhere due to their location in a central metropolitan area.
Dallas residents should be aware of the potential for earthquakes and take steps to protect themselves and their property from earthquake damage.
Preparing for an Earthquake
Earthquakes can occur at any time and without warning.
Most earthquakes in Dallas have been relatively small but can cause damage to buildings and structures, especially depending on their material.
While Dallas is not a high-risk area, it is important to prepare for an earthquake.
Emergency Plans for Families
If you live in Dallas-Fort Worth, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency plan in case of an earthquake or other natural disasters.
Your emergency plan should include a list of safe places to go during an earthquake, how to turn off your utilities, and who to contact if you’re injured or trapped under debris.
Also, remember that flooding can happen after an earthquake depending on recent weather.
Food and Other Supplies to have on Hand
In addition to having an emergency plan, you should also keep a supply of food and water on hand for after an earthquake or have to leave your home due to damage from the quake.
Ensure you have enough food and water to last every family member for three days.
Additionally, it is wise to stockpile other supplies such as a first-aid kit, medications, flashlights, batteries, and a portable radio.
Also, ensure to have things for all seasons. Earthquakes don’t have seasons so they can happen during any weather.
Steps to Take During an Earthquake
If you find yourself experiencing an earthquake, you must know the best safety procedures.
- Stop your car as soon as possible and use your emergency break if you’re driving.
- If an earthquake occurs while you’re asleep, lie face down on the ground and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
- If you are outdoors, avoid elevated structures or areas with dense trees.
- If you’re already inside, running outside is not a good idea. Instead, stay put and stay away from windows and doors.
- Do not use elevators.
- Only light matches or candles once you’re sure there are no gas leaks.
Knowing these tips can help your life and the lives of your family and neighbors.
Minimizing Damage in the Event of an Earthquake
Earthquakes are unpredictable natural events.
The damage potential from an earthquake that you cannot see makes it challenging to prepare. Nevertheless, here are a few precautions to take.
- Attach bookshelves and other wall-mountable items to the wall.
- Always place heavier items close to the ground to prevent anyone from getting hurt if they fall.
- Invest in window and door safety film to protect your family from flying glass.
While these are especially good pointers when preparing for earthquakes, they are good for everyday living.
Particularly if you have small children in your home, it will help prevent accidents.
The Likelihood of a Major Dallas Earthquake
Human activity is causing earthquake risks in areas that previously had no possibility for seismic activity. Unfortunately, Dallas is one of those areas.
The overall risk of an earthquake in Dallas is 15.82%. However, it is only 2% likely that an earthquake will occur in the next 50 years.
Dallas is not immune from earthquakes, even though they don’t happen as often as in other parts of the country.
That’s why residents need to be aware of the risk and know what steps to take if an earthquake does occur.
Following the tips above can help keep yourself and your family safe.