Are You Ready to ShakeOut?
With 317 million people living and working in the United States, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine how well we survive and recover.
While some areas of California are more likely to have earthquakes than others, all of California is at higher risk compared to the rest of the country. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school, or even on vacation.
What we do now will determine our quality of life after our next big earthquake. Are you prepared to survive and recover quickly?
Inland Southern California is graced with spectacular scenery and diverse communities. Those lucky enough to live among the mountains, valleys, and deserts know how breathtaking the area can be. This region has been fashioned by tremendous geologic forces and, like all of California, is earthquake country. Understanding the risks and preparing to survive and recover can help keep your family safe.
Most people in Inland Southern California live less than 10 miles from a fault that can have a damaging earthquake and a large part of the population lives along the most potentially damaging fault of all – the infamous San Andreas. It slices through the region, and has the potential to produce a devastating earthquake. Nearby faults such as the San Jacinto fault create smaller, yet more frequent earthquakes.
Click here to download a copy of Staying Safe Where the Earth Shakes
The driving force of earthquakes in California is movement along the San Andreas Fault and the many associated faults within the San Andreas Fault System that form the tectonic boundary between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. The San Andreas Fault is the most active in the contiguous United States however the Fault has not ruptured in this southern section for over 300 years. The ShakeOut Scenario describes what may happen when a large earthquake on the fault finally happens again (which could be today).
Yet while the San Andreas Fault is the longest and fastest moving fault in the state it is by no means the only one to be concerned with. Many other faults are found directly beneath our cities in some of the most densely populated areas. The San Jacinto Fault is the second fastest moving fault in California, and in combination with the San Andreas accommodates most of the relative movement along the plates in southern California. Also, the Eastern California Shear Zone in the Western portion of the Mojave Desert is an area of multiple faults that has produced large earthquakes, including the magnitude 7.3 Landers earthquake in 1992, and the magnitude 7.1 Hector Mine earthquake in 1999. Because of their location in a less populated part of San Bernardino county, they caused relatively little damage.
People of in the Inland Southern California Area have special concerns that might not be relative to other areas. Many people cross the San Andreas fault when traveling between home and work. During a major earthquake freeways may be broken and take days or weeks to repair, making it difficult or impossible to return home.
Life After a Big Quake
These earthquakes will disrupt services like electricity, water and sewer, and may limit access in and out of the region. Fire and police departments will be dealing with the most serious situations and may be unable to respond quickly to issues in your community. Government assistance may not be available or not enough to replace your damaged belongings or repair your home. Good news: Preparing now will give you confidence that you and your family will stay safe where the earth shakes.
The Great California ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries. ShakeOut is also a reminder for Californians to be prepared financially, such as by exploring earthquake insurance. The not-for-profit California Earthquake Authority offers earthquake insurance throughout California for homeowners, renters, mobilehome owners and condo-unit owners.
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills in October 2018 involved more than 62.5 million participants through broad-based outreach programs, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. The drill is held annually on the third Thursday of October. This year, International ShakeOut Day will be at 10:17 am on October 17.
A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.
Not just any drill will accomplish this; it needs to be big. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event. We are all in this together.
The 2019 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in world history. To participate, go to ShakeOut.org/register and pledge your family, school, business, or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and involve others. At the minimum practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” at the specified time, which is 10/17 at 10:17 am this year. It is only a one-minute commitment for something that can save your life.
For more information, visit ShakeOut.org