The HayWired Earthquake Scenario: Tools and Resources to Outsmart Disaster

[This post is adapted from a news release on ABAG’s website.]

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and its many partners, including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), have unveiled a new scenario and public outreach campaign to showcase what could happen during a major earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area along the Hayward Fault and help the public prepare for and recover from an earthquake. The HayWired Earthquake Scenario is intended to build awareness of earthquake risk and help Bay Area residents understand what they can do to mitigate risks and bounce back once the shaking stops. The public-engagement campaign – Outsmart Disaster – offers many resources, including a new fact sheet, on-line at

"ABAG is pleased to have worked with USGS and the other partners to develop the Haywired Scenario. Being able to share the potential impacts, before it happens, can help our cities, towns and counties to be better prepared. Bay Area residents now have access to the latest science in their efforts to become even better prepared," said Supervisor David Rabbitt, ABAG President and California Seismic Safety Commissioner.

ABAG Resilience Program

The ABAG Resilience Program has been focused on developing resources for Bay Area residents and jurisdictions for over 40 years. The agency has a number of key resources to help jurisdictions address earthquake risks, available on the Resilience website. The Joint ABAG/Metropolitan Transportation Commission Integrated Regional Planning Program is a HayWired Project Partner. Agency staff researched the economic impact of the scenario, and have also shared early lessons at meetings of Bay Area cities.

"As the Executive Director of MTC-ABAG, I am pleased to commit that we will continue the Resilience Program's work, such as participating in HayWired's development," commented Steve Heminger, MTC-ABAG Executive Director. Heminger added, "We will continue to support the region in preparing for the next big earthquake. We will continue to strengthen local, regional, state and federal partnerships to bring more resources to the region to expand resilience actions. The regional agencies are here to support action by Bay Area communities."

What is the HayWired Scenario? And Why?

The HayWired Scenario is a highly detailed and scientifically realistic depiction of what may happen during and after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake on the Hayward Fault with an epicenter in Oakland. Understanding the risk and getting ready for a large earthquake on the Hayward Fault like the one depicted in this scenario and the video excerpted above can help at-risk communities prepare for similar events that are possible in their area.

The newly released USGS Fact Sheet, "The HayWired Earthquake Scenario - We Can Outsmart Disaster," provides a concise overview of what will be a multi-volume report. The Fact Sheet distills key points of the report and provides the first glimpse of a truly groundbreaking study into earthquake hazard impacts, mitigation efforts, and resiliency actions for communities in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

"HayWired" was chosen for the scenario to emphasize the need to examine our interconnectedness and reliance on telecommunications and other lifelines such as water and electricity.

ABAG and MTC encourage members and stakeholders to visit the Outsmart Disaster website and share widely:

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