Great Southern California ShakeOut

No, this post isn’t about the pending avalanche of new taxes about to be unleashed against Southern Californians, it’s about the massive Earthquake drill that will be the largest in US History.  It’s that kind of “ShakeOut”.

The earthquake scenario that has been developed gives us a glimpse into our future–and an earthquake of this magnitude will be unlike any we’ve ever experienced before. This is why for the first time, governmental agencies, science organizations, emergency preparedness groups, arts communities and the City of Los Angeles are coming together to teach Southern Californians how to prepare for the large earthquakes in our future through the Great Southern California ShakeOut.

Natural disasters are unavoidable; they can strike at any time. However, we can control how ready we will be when they occur. The preparation efforts we make today affect us all, and they will determine how resilient our society will be in the future.

With this in mind, disaster preparation begins at the individual level, and must include businesses, organizations, institutions, neighborhoods and communities. The Great Southern California ShakeOut aims to show us that our own preparations will affect the recovery of others.

A large earthquake in Southern California is most certainly in our collective future.  When?  Of course there is no sure way for scientists to tell but they do know we are painfully overdue for a massive earthquake.  According to, this earthquake expected in our lifetime will occur on the San Andreas Fault and will be at least a 7.8 which would mean shaking for two minutes and damage that spreads out over a very wide area of Southern California.  The damage caused by such a trembler will overshadow the damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

Now, I hate to be Chicken Little, the sky is not falling but preparedness is essential, especially since our Federal Government has proven that they are ill equipped to help any State during a devastating natural disaster.  But it’s also important for each one of us to prepare our families in case of such an emergency.  There are plenty of small things you can do, such as buy an extra case of bottled water the next time you make a run to Costco to store in your garage (With the kind of damage a 7.8 or higher will cause, emergency services may need up to 3 to 5 days to even get the most basic services functioning again.  So what should you have available?  The USGS has a very practical guide to help out.  The site also has other guidelines such as how to minimuze damage to your belongings and further information regarding their reasoning for predicting such a large earthquake in our State’s future. 

Making Your Own Earthquake Survival Kit

  • After a major earthquake, medical aid, transportation, water, electricity, and communication may be unavailable or severely restricted for several days to weeks throughout the Bay Area. Be prepared to take care of yourself, your family, and your neighbors for at least 3 days.
  • At home, at work, and in your car, store flashlights, batteries, an A-B-C rated fire extinguisher, a battery-operated radio, a first-aid kit and handbook, one gallon of water per person per day, food, warm clothes, and sturdy shoes.
  • Make sure emergency supplies are located in a safe and readily available place.
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows where these supplies are and how to use them. Take a course in first aid.

I am also including the schedule of events for this week long public service.  I think it’s extremely important for everyone to be aware of what they can do to protect themselves and their family.

The Great Southern California ShakeOut Drill

Thursday, November 13, 10 a.m.

Aiming to be the nation’s largest public earthquake preparedness activity ever, the ShakeOut Drill is for all Southern Californians, including individuals, families, businesses, schools and organizations.

Los Angeles Earthquake Get Ready Rally

Friday, November 14

Held in downtown Los Angeles, Art Center College of Design will host an event with exciting and innovative media, sounds and visuals.

International Earthquake Policy Conference

Wednesday, November 12–14

Hosted by the City of Los Angeles, decision-makers from earthquake countries around the globe will convene to discuss earthquake risk reduction strategies and experiences.

Golden Guardian Emergency Response Exercise

Thursday, November 13–Wednesday, November 19

The annual state-wide emergency response drill for local and state government first responders will be held in conjunction with ShakeOut this year and focus on the ShakeOut earthquake scenario.

Take One More Step

Friday, November 14–Sunday November 16

You’ve participated in the ShakeOut Drill. Now take one more step to get ready for a major earthquake. Click on the Beyond the Drill to learn what else you can do to prepare. When you do take one more step, be sure to tell us your story.

Are you interested in being involved?  You can register here or go to their website to learn more.