Congratulations to the organizers of The Great California Shakeout which took place yesterday at 10:15 PT. In the ShakeOut’s second year, 6.9 million Californians participated up from 5.5 million in 2008.
IN SAN FRANCISCO, ACADEMY OF ART UNIVERSITY STUDENTS LISA ALLEN AND SHAOFU ZHANG DROPPING AND COVERING AS PART OF THE GREAT CALIFORNIA SHAKEOUT (Photo: Associated Press)
Schools, businesses, emergency responders and hospitals across the state took part in the drill which came two days short of 20 years since the Loma Prieta earthquake that killed 63 people in the San Francisco-area. To get a sense of how individuals throughout California readied for the simulated 7.8 quake, some participant photos are here.
The ShakeOut offers many lessons for citizen preparedness, including the value of picking one day to focus on, involving adults and children together, as well as making things fun. This is the type major civilian preparedness drill that should be replicated in states and localities around the U.S., tailored of course to the particular risks in that area. But I would argue that taking events like these — and other local preparedness models — and spreading throughout the nation would be made far easier if there was a federal citizen preparedness person/office responsible for helping coordinate the issue.
By the way, I checked the three cable news channels at 1:15 ET, and none of them picked up the ShakeOut live. As they weren’t covering any other breaking news (the boy in the flying balloon coverage would not start for a couple more hours), it would have been nice had they given this great preparedness event live national exposure. But there’s another chance: on Saturday, another major earthquake preparedness drill, ‘The Big Rumble,” will take place in San Francisco.