I wanted to bring your attention to an important earthquake preparedness event that readers in California may already have heard about — The Great Southern California ShakeOutÂ – occurring thisÂ November. According to their website, www.shakeout.org:Â Â
The Great Southern California ShakeOut is a week of special events featuring the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history, organized to inspire Southern Californians to get ready for big earthquakes, and to prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes.
At 10 a.m. on November 13, 2008, millions of southern Californians will â€œDrop, Cover, and Hold On.â€ Why? An enormous earthquake is our future, and the ShakeOut Drill is our chance to practice what to do when it happens. Individuals, families, businesses, schools and organizations will join firefighters, police officers, and other emergency responders (involved in the statewide â€œGolden Guardianâ€ exercise) in our largest-ever earthquake preparedness activity. Donâ€™t miss out!
TheÂ Shakeout will use a hypothetical 7.8 earthquake scenario recentlyÂ developed byÂ the U.S. Geological SurveyÂ and the California Geological Survey. It wasÂ described in an articleÂ inÂ Science Daily:Â
In the Scenario, the earthquake would kill 1800 people, injure 50,000, cause $200 billion in damage, and have long-lasting social and economic consequences. This is the most comprehensive analysis ever of what a major Southern California earthquake would mean.
As someone whoÂ has advocated for more extensiveÂ civilianÂ emergency drills, IÂ think the public’s involvement in this large-scaleÂ Shakeout event is a very promising developmentÂ not only in increasingÂ the preparedness ofÂ SouthernÂ CaliforniansÂ but also in providing a civilian drilling model for other parts of the country to follow.Â