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Humboldt State University
Letter from Humboldt
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January 2017

Quake Safety & Preparedness

Home for the Holiday

Last month, a 6.5 quake struck more than 100 miles off our coast. While the magnitude was high, neither injuries nor damage were reported. That same day, a 7.8 quake struck almost 6,000 miles away in the Solomon Islands. The U.S. Geological Survey issued a brief tsunami warning for the Hawai'ian islands before removing the threat entirely. While there was never a chance of tsunami waves reaching the West Coast, the reality is that a future quake could send one our way.

How does this relate to the families of Humboldt State students? It highlights the importance of being prepared and educated.

HSU sits atop a hillside well outside of the tsunami inundation zone--the area that's expected to flood in the event of a tsunami. Beyond the advantage of elevation, campus is one of the safer places to be during a quake because the California State University system has been aggressive in addressing the earthquake safety of its buildings. In fact, the HSU Library and Theatre Arts Building are currently undergoing major earthquake retrofits.

Humboldt State has taken many steps to ensure the safety of your student and the community by providing disaster preparedness resources and training. The University has developed maps of tsunami zones. And the 32-page full-color magazine Living on Shaky Ground (PDF) outlines steps to take during and after a quake. The guide covers reasons to keep seven days worth of food and water on hand and why securing furniture to walls is a good idea.

Every year, HSU participates in the Great California ShakeOut, which reminds participants to stop, cover, and hold if the Earth starts shaking. (The old advice of standing in a doorway during a quake is NOT accurate.) Finding a desk, table, bed, or another heavy piece of furniture to hide under during the shaking is the best way to avoid being struck if something falls.

Another thing experts agree on is that reaction time is critically important. HSU earthquake expert Professor Lori Dengler likes to relate a story of a young girl who lived on an island in Indonesia during the massive 9.1-magnitude quake in 2004. She had learned in school that an earthquake is often followed by a tsunami, so once the quake hit she started shouting to everyone around her that they needed to run up the hill. She was right, and her quick thinking saved the entire village. The lesson is that when a quake strikes suddenly, being prepared and reacting quickly are important.

During any campus emergency, including if an earthquake causes damage, look for information at, by listening to recorded updates at (707) 826-INFO, or listening to public radio station KHSU 90.5.

Students can sign up to receive emergency text alerts through myHumboldt. They must OPT IN to receive these important messages.

More information about HSU emergency planning is here.

New Deadline for Financial Aid Application

This year, the FAFSA opened for submissions starting
Oct. 1, rather than the previous date of Jan. 1. Not only that, officials will be looking at last year’s income information, instead of the year in which a student applies for aid. These changes aim to make it easier to get federal financial aid, so be sure to apply. Learn more at the HSU Financial Aid website.

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Latest News from Campus

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Care Packages

Sending your student off to college can take some getting used to. You want to be there for them every step of the way from the first moments on campus to graduation day. For the moments in between, Forever Humboldt offers special care packages. Help your student celebrate special occasions or pump up their spirits by sending them one through our special program. Visit the Care Package Program website to view all available options.

In this issue

Quake Safety & Preparedness Latest News from Campus Events & Deadlines

Building a Mink

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More photos on Flickr »

Events & Deadlines


Mon. 16
Martin Luther King Holiday - Campus Closed

Tues. 17
First Day of Spring Semester


Mon. 13 - Fri. 17
Spring Break

Mon. 31
Cesar Chavez Holiday - Campus Closed


Mon. 8 – Fri. 12
Final Exams

Sat. 13

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