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.