Blog Oklahoma Podcast 024: Earthquakes

Do you remember growing up here in Oklahoma and thinking earthquakes were only something that happened on the west coast of our country. My how times have changed. There was another round of earthquakes yesterday.

Welcome to Blog Oklahoma

Just yesterday, February 13, 2016, we had several earthquakes shake the north central part of our state. One near Fairview, Oklahoma, was powerful enough to have been registered in Missouri. And you know what, I swear we felt it here in Elk City, in the western half of the state.

I could be wrong, but yesterday my house creaked a bit. I know minor thing. It was the same kind of noise the house makes when a large gust of wind hits it. Now I didn’t feel any shaking or hear any wind, but I did get up to check. Sudden gusts of wind happens quite a bit here in western Oklahoma. I found no evidence of that. That said I can’t say I know what’s it’s like to have been in an earthquake. I do have friends and family that can. From Enid to Oklahoma City I’ve had them tell me about the shaking they’ve experienced. All in the news you can hear reports about cracks appearing in walls, stuff falling off shelves, and nerves being rattled.

Oklahoma had over 850 magnitude 3 or larger earthquakes last year making it one of the most seismically active states. Yesterday’s Fairview earthquake registered a 5.1.

The common belief and what studies have proved as to why Oklahoma started to have so many earthquakes has do too many of the disposal or injection wells in the area. One of the byproducts of drilling for oil or gas is the need to dispose of large quantities of contaminated water. This water contains chemicals used in the drilling process as well as whatever it picks up in the act of drilling. The drilling companies truck this water to many of the disposal wells around the state where it gets pumped deep into the ground. Well all this water and pressure affected the surrounding geology and many of the faults in the region began react. That is a vast over simplification. If you’re interested in knowing more about this, I’ll have links to some great articles about it in the show notes.

Now the State government has slowly began to react to the earthquakes by shutting down many of the disposal wells in the area. Unfortunately it may be years before we know if this was effective. No telling how long it will take for the region to reach some sort of balance again.

The one thing we can do about this is to be earthquake aware and ready. Just like we have to be for tornadoes, it's best to be prepared. If you haven’t yet, put together an emergency kit, or as I like to call it our bug-out bag. A few change of clothes, medications, batteries, charging cables, food, and anything else you can think of. You’ll find many suggestions on how to put together an emergency kit online. Another thing you should do is verify what your home insurance covers. Your policy might not cover man-made earthquakes. So please review your policy and talk with your agent.

Oklahoma will likely have more earthquakes in the years to come. So please be ready and be safe.

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Last episode I did a short list of magazines found on my coffee table. It was something not to be taken seriously, but just a little fun thing to do. It went over so well, I think I'll make that a regular segment. So from now on I'm going to do a top 5 list on various things, some serious, some not. So here we go.

Top 5

The top 5 YouTube channels I watched last week.

Links from this episode

This episode's bonus interesting articles

This episode's bonus musical selection

You can listen To the Blog Oklahoma Bonus playlist on YouTube or Spotify. Enjoy.

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