In a state known for magnitude 8 and 9 earthquakes, it is easy to grow complacent about smaller earthquakes. However, moderate-to-strong earthquakes happening near cities and towns pose serious dangers to people and infrastructure. New Zealand's 2011 M6.3 Christchurch earthquake, for example, claimed 185 lives and caused billions of dollars in damage. On average, Alaska experiences half a dozen magnitude 6 or greater earthquakes per year.
Most Alaskans will survive the next big earthquake with little loss. Some people may be severely affected. By understanding the risks you face, preparing your home and family, and learning how to act when an earthquake hits, you can reduce how much your family will lose.