Unlike many people who live in earthquake country, residents in Corte Madera take the threat seriously.
The community has a new $15,000 disaster response trailer stocked with first-aid supplies, tents, lights, sleeping bags and other items that will assist residents in case of an emergency.
"It's unique for a community to have its own trailer like this," said Dr. Bob Bund, a member of the Marin Medical Reserve Corps and Mariner Cove Disaster Preparedness Committee. "It will be there to help in case of an earthquake. It will be a great resource."
Members of the town's Mariner Cove neighborhood — who have conducted their own emergency drills — are now stocking the new trailer, which is parked at the San Clemente School site on the east side of town.
The Corte Madera Community Foundation, which owns and will oversee the use of the trailer, has signed an agreement with the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District that allows the unit to be based at San Clemente.
It will be available to both the school and the community as a whole in case disaster strikes.
"It will provide the opportunity to treat and help people right away," Bund said.
Funds to purchase and equip the trailer came from a county grant initiated by Corte Madera resident Marla Orth. She helped the Corte Madera Community Foundation obtain the grant funding.
"A lot of times these efforts are intent rich, but equipment poor," said Orth, who is working on getting a second trailer for the west side of Corte Madera. "It's nice to have these assets because preparedness then becomes real for people. My dream is to have one in each community in Marin."
The chance of an earthquake hitting Marin is real.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in the San Francisco Bay Area is 63 percent in the next 30 years.
The most hazardous fault system in the Bay Area is Hayward-Rodgers Creek, with a 31 percent likelihood of a 6.7-magnitude quake or greater in the next three decades, according to the USGS. A portion of the Rodgers Creek-Hayward Fault system slices through San Pablo Bay, just a few miles from Marin's shore.
Slippage along the Hayward-Rodgers Creek fault with a 6.7-magnitude temblor would leave 2,690 housing units uninhabitable and 6,725 people homeless in Marin, according to figures produced in another study by the Association of Bay Area Governments. A quake along the entire Hayward fault would leave about 5,300 people in Marin homeless by knocking out 2,125 housing units.
"We are very lax about it and people are complacent," Orth said. "People think if something happens people will come and take care of them, but that's not going to happen."
Contact Mark Prado via email at firstname.lastname@example.org