Are You Ready to ShakeOut?
With 22 million people living and working in southern California, a major earthquake in the region could cause an unprecedented catastrophe. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after. With earthquakes an inevitable part of southern California’s future, Californians must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes. With this in mind, the Earthquake Country Alliance has organized the Great Southern California ShakeOut, a week of special events featuring a massive earthquake drill at 10 AM on November 13, 2008.
The ShakeOut drill centers on the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario, a realistic portrayal of what could happen in a major earthquake on the southern end of the San Andreas Fault. Created by over 300 experts led by Dr. Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey, the scenario outlines a hypothetical 7.8 magnitude earthquake originating near the Salton Sea, which would have the potential to devastate the region.
While earthquakes cannot be predicted or prevented, steps can be taken to prepare in order to make a difference in how our lives will be after an earthquake. Secure your space by strapping top-heavy furniture, water heaters, and other items to walls or tabletops. Strengthen your buildings walls and foundation if necessary. Of course, it is important to have resources to protect yourself and others should assistance be slow in arriving. Three to 14 days worth of water for each person, non-perishable food, and a fire extinguisher, among other supplies, can be valuable resources to have stored and ready for such a disaster.
With a goal of at least 5 million participants, the ShakeOut drill will be the largest in U.S. history. To participate, go to www.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, connect with other participants, and encourage a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. There are many ways to take part, but at the least participants should Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10 A.M. on November 13. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.