Science and engineering come together with the user community in the “HayWired” scenario

HayWired – What is the value of a large-scale scenario effort?

HayWired is and will be a major undertaking for the community and promises to help raise awareness of and increase preparedness for a M 7.0 on the Hayward fault. The diagram above shows the different tiers of input (in green) and scenario outputs (in blue) that comprise HayWired. It involves experts from multiple disciplines coming together to create an integrated and credible look at the impact of a major earthquake before it happens.

USGS lists the principles of the scenario as:

  1. A large plausible event (not worst case)
  2. An event worth planning for
  3. Integrate many disciplines
  4. Reflect expert consensus
  5. Create with community partners
  6. Plain-English products for users…A tool to help visualize, plan, and prepare.

Given that USGS predicts a 33% chance of a M 6.7 or greater earthquake on the Hayward fault in 30 years (2014-43) and that it will occur in a major urban area interconnected by utilities, technology, and transportation, the impacts are likely to be massive.

It is not just the initial earthquake that will create damage and cause the area to potentially go ‘haywired’ but also multiple events that precede and follow the earthquake:

  • Earthquake early warning is triggered
  • ShakeMap is generated
  • Slip – The earthquake itself
  • Liquefaction
  • Landslides
  • Fires
  • Aftershock forecasts
  • Aftershock sequences

Each of these will impact the community, and this complex of events is what Haywired is designed to plan for.

When the Bay Area Goes HayWired !

HayWired – Background

What if a magnitude 7.0 earthquake happens on the Hayward fault starting under Oakland, California, on 4/18/18 at 4:18 pm?

The Hayward fault in Northern California is likely to slip and, when it does, a major earthquake is possible. How will we respond? What tools and technologies are available now and do we know how to use them? How can we insure that the broader planning and response community is ready and reacts in concert?

These are some of the drivers for the 2018 United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake scenario “HayWired”, in part funded by The Seismic Safety Commission, which engage dozens of governmental and business organizations to better understand the impacts of a M 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward fault.  “HayWired” is a reference not only to the prolonged loss of the Internet but also the chaos caused by impacts to social connectivity and technology, and the effects of damages and disruption throughout the economy.

The over-arching themes and objectives of the “HayWired” scenario include:

  1. Improve the communication of earthquake hazard science and engineering for use in decision-making
  2. Help understand and inform actions to reduce earthquake risks
  3. Help build community capacity to respond to and recover from earthquakes.

Having a detailed scenario will help engineers, emergency planners, community organizations and major firms operating in the region develop a realistic set of conversations and plans about what to do.

Sadly, it is not a matter of if the Hayward fault slips but when.