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USGS and The Great Southern California ShakeOut!

ShakeOut logoShakeOut logo

At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2009, millions of Californians will practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Many people and organizations will also practice other aspects of their emergency plans. Last year, nearly 5.5 million Southern Californians participated in the 2008 ShakeOut drill. The Great California ShakeOut will now be held statewide on the third Thursday of October each year. Register today.

 

USGS ShakeOut Scenario Scientific Studies and Products

The USGS led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 300 experts from academia and industry, public and private sectors to develop the ShakeOut Scenario and communicate it to end users including emergency managers and the general public. USGS scientists have also used the scenario's results to conduct additional research. Many products are available for download, including Shakeout Scenario Reports, Narrative, Studies, Maps, and Movies.

Learn How Science Helps Build Safer Communities

For broadcast-quality video footage, please contact Don Becker at 605-594-6175.

Learn firsthand how USGS science is being used to help prepare Southern California for a major earthquake and prevent this natural hazard from becoming a catastrophe. Hear what our scientists and partners have to say.

Jay Alan (Streaming | Video)
Deputy Director of Communications, Office of Homeland Security, Office of the Governor, California

Mariana Amatullo: Part 1 (Streaming | Video)
Vice President, International Initiatives Art Center College of Design Director, Designmatters

Mariana Amatullo: Part 2 (Streaming | Video)
Vice President, International Initiatives Art Center College of Design Director, Designmatters

Mark Bassett (Streaming | Video)
Deputy Regional Administrator, Governor's Office of Emergency Services, State of California

Denise Benson (Streaming | Video)
Division Manager, San Bernandino County Fire Deparment, Office of Emergency Services

Larry Collins (Streaming | Video)
County of Los Angeles Fire Department, Captain, Special Operations Bureau

Cheryl Curley (Streaming | Video)
Staff Development Coordinator, Desertare

Jim Featherstone (Streaming | Video)
City of Los Angeles, General Manager, Emergency Management Department

Ken Hudnut: Part 1 (Streaming | Video)
U.S. Geological Survey, Geophysist, Earthquake Hazards Team

Ken Hudnut: Part 2 (Streaming | Video | Transcript (correction included))
U.S. Geological Survey, Geophysist, Earthquake Hazards Team

Peter Lent (Streaming | Video)
Deputy Director, Riverside County Fire Department, Office of Emergency Services

Kate Long (Streaming | Video)
Earthquake and Tsunami Program, Governor's Office of Emergency Services, State of California

Dennis Mileti (Streaming | Video)
Professor Emeritus University of Colorado, Boulder Natural Hazards Center

Allan Renazco (Streaming | Video)
Captain, California Army National Guard, Exercise Planner

Gary Sturdivan (Streaming | Video)
Manager, East Valley Water District Security and Emergency

Earthquake Preparedness-Related Resources

USGS ShakeOut News Releases

Quick look:
Summary: Three years after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused $25 million worth of damage to its pinnacles, buttresses and ceilings, the Washington National Cathedral will host earthquake experts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill


Millions to Participate in National Earthquake Drill on October 16

Contact Information:

Meredith MacKenzie ( Phone: 202-776-7700 ); Jessica Robertson ( Phone: 703-648-6624 );




WASHINGTON, D.C.—Three years after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused $25 million worth of damage to its pinnacles, buttresses and ceilings, the Washington National Cathedral will host earthquake experts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill.  On Thursday, October 16, media availability and live interviews will occur from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. EDT for local morning shows.

WHAT:

Media are invited to conduct interviews in advance of the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. At 10:16 a.m. local time on October 16, people across the world are encouraged to participate in the drill and practice how to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On."

WHEN:

Thursday, October 16, 2014
6:00 – 9:00 a.m. EDT

WHERE:  

Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(West Front, facing Wisconsin Avenue)

WHO:

  • Dr. David Applegate, USGS Associate Director for Natural Hazards, will discuss earthquake hazards in the Southeast region.
  • Mark Benthien, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills Global Coordinator, will speak on the 25.6 million participants around the world taking part in earthquake drills in 2014.
  • A FEMA representative will discuss the importance of public preparedness.
  • James W. Shepherd, Director of Preservation and Facilities for the National Cathedral and chief architect in its restoration project, will discuss progress on repairs since the 2011 earthquake and the work currently underway to protect against future damage.

RSVP:  

Media must RSVP to Meredith MacKenzie at: Meredith@westendstrategy.com

VIDEO:

Watch a short video with students from Louisa County, Virginia, discussing the re-opening of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, which was also damaged following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake in 2011. USGS Earthquake Hazards Program Associate Coordinator Mike Blanpied also discusses USGS research underway and the role of science as the foundation for understanding hazards and making preparedness decisions.

...Media Advisory: Washington National Cathedral to Host Earthquake Experts
(Released: Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:54:43 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: Thirty seismometers are being installed in the Nation’s capital this winter to monitor ground tremors to better estimate the intensity of ground shaking that can be expected during future earthquakes in the area


USGS and Virginia Tech Begin Installations in November

Contact Information:

Thomas  Pratt ( Phone: 206-919-8773 ); Guney  Olgun ( Phone: 540-231-2036 ); Hannah  Hamilton ( Phone: 703-314-1601 );




WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thirty seismometers are being installed in the Nation’s capital this winter to monitor ground tremors to better estimate the intensity of ground shaking that can be expected during future earthquakes in the area.

The project was announced today by U.S. Geological Survey acting director Suzette Kimball at an event at the National Building Museum promoting ShakeOut, an international earthquake drill involving more than 20 million people scheduled for Oct. 16.

“The surprising amount of damage to buildings here in Washington, D.C. during the 2011 Virginia earthquake – despite its relatively modest 5.8 magnitude and the epicenter being nearly 90 miles away – raised questions on how much seismic shaking is amplified by local geological conditions,” said Kimball.  “The installation of these seismometers should provide the information necessary to help us answer those questions and better estimate the intensity of shaking during future earthquakes in the area.”

Scientists from the USGS and Virginia Tech will begin the installations in November, locating the bowl sized sensors at various sites throughout the District of Columbia, including government facilities, parks, and private homes.

The extremely sensitive seismometers will remain in place until summer of 2015 to record weak ground shaking from distant earthquakes, as well as vibrations from regional earthquakes, quarry blasts and background noise generated by sources such as automobile traffic. The seismometers will continuously record information, with scientists periodically visiting the instruments to retrieve the data.

In time the results should provide information that will help architects and engineers mitigate the effects of future earthquakes when they design or renovate buildings in the area. Although no one can predict when the area will experience its next earthquake, the Eastern United States has the potential to experience larger, more damaging earthquakes than was experienced in 2011.

The seismometers are on loan from the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, which is a consortium of more than 120 US universities and research institutions dedicated to facilitating investigations of earthquakes and Earth dynamics.

More than 450 aftershocks have been recorded since the Virginia earthquake, which was felt from central Georgia to central Maine, and west to Detroit and Chicago.  It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt the earthquake, which damaged the Washington National Cathedral and the Washington Monument.

Additional information about the earthquakes in Virginia is available online.

For more information visit the USGS Earthquake Hazard Program website.

...Seismometers to Measure DC Shaking
(Released: Tue, 14 Oct 2014 11:00:00 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: A press conference will be held on October 14, 2014 in recognition of the upcoming International ShakeOut Day of Action


Media Invited to Interview Top Government Officials

Contact Information:

Brian Blake ( Phone: 901-340-8885 ); Jessica Robertson ( Phone: 703-648-6624 );




WASHINGTON, D.C.— A press conference will be held on October 14, 2014 in recognition of the upcoming International ShakeOut Day of Action. On October 16, nearly 25 million people (2 million in the SouthEast region) are expected to participate in the world’s largest earthquake drill. To mark the occasion and build awareness, several state and federal organizations have partnered to call the public to action and prepare for the drill.

WHAT

Media are invited to attend a ShakeOut press conference and interview executive level state and federal government officials, meet students who experienced the 2011 Virginia earthquake, shoot footage of a live seismometer and earthquake drill demonstration, and film the “Designing for Disaster” exhibit at the National Building Museum. Main topics include:

  • The Great ShakeOut earthquake drills, occurring throughout the nation on October 16
  • New earthquake research and monitoring activities in D.C. and the eastern United States
  • Lasting effects of Virginia's magnitude 5.8 earthquake in August 2011, felt by nearly one third of the U.S. population
  • Current state and federal government activities that are improving disaster preparedness and resiliency

WHERE

National Building Museum
401 F Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

WHEN

  • October 14, 2014 
  • 9:45AM EDT: Media Arrival
  • 10:00AM to 10:30AM EDT: Press Conference
  • 10:30AM to Noon EDT: Interviews, Demonstrations, and Tours

WHO

  • Suzette Kimball, Acting Director, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Craig Fugate, Administrator, FEMA
  • Chase W. Rynd, Executive Director, National Building Museum
  • Doug Straley, Assistant Superintendent of Administration, Louisa County Public Schools (VA)
  • Brian Baker, Chief of Staff, District of Columbia Homeland Security and EMA
  • Mark Benthien, Global Coordinator, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, Southern California Earthquake Center
  • Jim Wilkinson, Executive Director, Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium

RSVP

Media are encouraged to RSVP to Brian Blake at bblake@cusec.org. Press packets will be available. Interviews and one-on-one filming will be allowed following the press conference.

...Media Advisory: Experts Gather in Advance of National Earthquake Drill
(Released: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 8:53:52 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: USGS seismologists Wes Thelen (left) and Paul Okubo (right) working at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. (High resolution image) HAWAI‘I ISLAND, Hawaii — Hawaii’s long history of destructive earthquakes and actions that residents can take to reduce injury during the next one will be the topics of two presentations on Tuesday, October 1.  Both talks are open to the public.


Contact Information:

Janet  Babb ( Phone: 808-967-8844 );




 USGS seismologists Wes Thelen (left) and Paul Okubo (right) working at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
USGS seismologists Wes Thelen (left) and Paul Okubo (right) working at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. (High resolution image)

HAWAI‘I ISLAND, Hawaii — Hawaii’s long history of destructive earthquakes and actions that residents can take to reduce injury during the next one will be the topics of two presentations on Tuesday, October 1.  Both talks are open to the public.

Paul Okubo, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, will speak about "Damaging earthquakes in Hawaii and the Great Hawaii ShakeOut" in the University Classroom Building, Room 100, on the UH–Hilo main campus, 200 W. Kawili Street, in Hilo. A map of the campus is online.  This free presentation begins at 7:00 p.m. 

Wes Thelen, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory's seismic network manager, will present "Large earthquakes in the Hawaiian Islands: What you need to know" in the Kīlauea Visitor Center auditorium on Crater Rim Drive, in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, at 7:00 p.m.  This "After Dark in the Park" presentation is free, but Park entrance fees apply.

Large earthquakes pose an ever-present danger to Hawaii.  Since 1868, more than 30 magnitude-6.0 or greater earthquakes have impacted residents throughout the State.  The probability that another destructive —magnitude 6.5 or higher— earthquake will strike the Hawaiian Islands in the next 10 years is 50 percent; in the next 20 years, the probability increases to 75 percent.

According to Okubo, while the Island of Hawai‘i experiences more seismicity than other Hawaiian islands, the exposure to earthquake risk spans the entire State of Hawaii.  As a recent example, he notes that the October 2006 magnitude-6.7 and 6.0 earthquakes, located in West Hawai‘i, caused $200 million in damages on the Islands of Hawai‘i and Maui, as well as an extended power outage on O‘ahu.

Thelen points out that it has been 40 years since a destructive earthquake occurred during business and school hours—the magnitude-6.2 Honomū, Hawai‘i earthquake on April 26, 1973.  Without that experience, conducting drills is even more important for all schools and businesses, as well as individuals and families, to practice "Drop! Cover! Hold on!"—actions that are proven to reduce injury in an earthquake—during the Great Hawaii ShakeOut earthquake drill on October 17.

Both Okubo and Thelen will present an overview of damaging earthquakes in Hawaii, including current theories on why they occur.  They will also talk about "The Great Hawaii ShakeOut" and what people can do to protect themselves during Hawaii’s next large earthquake.

For more information about these two presentations, visit the HVO website or call (808) 967-8844.

  

...Hawaii's History of Destructive Earthquakes the Focus of Two Talks
(Released: Thu, 26 Sep 2013 15:00:00 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: Are you prepared for future earthquakes? Earthquake experts from the USGS and FEMA will be with students at Langston Hughes Middle School as they participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill on October 18, 2012


Contact Information:

Jessica Robertson ( Phone: 703-648-6624 );




Reston, Va.—Are you prepared for future earthquakes? Earthquake experts from the USGS and FEMA will be with students at Langston Hughes Middle School as they participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill on October 18, 2012.

During the drill, participants will "drop, cover, and hold on" to practice how to protect themselves during an earthquake. Millions of people have participated in ShakeOut drills since 2008, and this will be the first year a drill is officially held in the southeast. Earthquakes pose a risk to more than 165 million people in 37 states. Last year's earthquake in Virginia was a recent reminder that we all need to be prepared.

What: Media are invited to join students at Langston Hughes Middle School as they participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. Presentations will follow from the USGS and FEMA on earthquake hazards and preparedness.

When: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 10:18 a.m.
Media should arrive by 9:30 a.m., with the event lasting until 11:00 a.m.

Where: Langston Hughes Middle School
11401 Ridge Heights Road
Reston, VA 20191

Who: Marcia McNutt, USGS Director
Michael Mahoney, FEMA Geophysicist
Bill Leith, USGS Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards

RSVP: Media must RSVP by October 17 to Jessica Robertson at jrobertson@usgs.gov or 703-648-6624.

Additional information—drill manuals, tips on earthquake preparedness, news media resources—are available on the Great ShakeOut website.

Learn about the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program.

Read a USGS feature story on ShakeOut.

...Media Advisory: Preparing for Future Earthquakes
(Released: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 8:00:00 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: Menlo Park, Calif. -- Southern California scientists, emergency planners, businesses, and organizations who worked on communication efforts for the 2008 earthquake drill ShakeOut received a prestigious federal award Wednesday at the U.S. Geological Survey’s facilities here.


Contact Information:

Leslie Gordon ( Phone: 650-793-1534 );




Menlo Park, Calif. -- Southern California scientists, emergency planners, businesses, and organizations who worked on communication efforts for the 2008 earthquake drill ShakeOut received a prestigious federal award Wednesday at the U.S. Geological Survey’s facilities here.

The USGS Eugene M. Shoemaker Awards for Communications Excellence are given annually to recognize extraordinary effectiveness in communicating complex scientific concepts and discoveries into words and pictures that capture the interest and imagination of the American public.

The 2009 award in the multiple-product category was awarded to The Great Southern California ShakeOut Campaign. Working with an initial committee of 12 people, the group superbly planned and executed a multimedia communication approach resulting in the drill being the largest of its kind in U.S. history, with more than 5 million people participating. 

The scenario, written by USGS earthquake experts, called for a magnitude 7.8 earthquake to hit Southern California along the San Andreas fault. While USGS provided the scenario, the Earthquake Country Alliance brought together many local organizations to create the idea, the promotion, and the execution of the ShakeOut drill on November 13, 2008.

The drill was so successful it has become an annual event, with 6.9 million people participating in 2009. The next iteration will take place Oct. 21, 2010.

Those recognized for communication excellence in the first ShakeOut are:

Earthquake Country Alliance community partners:

caption below
ShakeOut community partners: (left to right)
Dale Cox, USGS Multi-hazards Project manager, John Bwarie, City of Los Angeles, Monica Buchanan, State Farm Insurance, Kate Long, California Emergency Management Agency, Anne Kinsinger, USGS Western Regional Director, Lucy Jones, USGS Multi-hazards Project Chief, Margaret Vinci, California Institute of Technology, Connie Lackey, Providence Health and Services.  (high resolution image)
  • City of Los Angeles, John Bwarie
  • State Farm Insurance, Monica Buchanan
  • California Emergency Management Agency, Kate Long
  • Southern California Earthquake Center, Mark Benthien
  • California Institute of Technology, Margaret Vinci
  • Art Center College of Design, Sohini Sinha
  • Pearce Global Partners, Ines Pearce
  • LA County Fire Department, Larry Collins
  • CBS Radio, Jack Popejoy
  • Providence Health and Services, Connie Lackey and Steve Storbakken

U.S. Geological Survey employees:

Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project

  • Lucy Jones
  • Dale Cox
  • Sue Perry

Earthquake Science Center

  • Ken Hudnut
  • Erik Pounders

Menlo Park Publishing Service Center

  • Peter Stauffer
  • James W. Hendley II
  • Judy Weathers

Office of Communications

  • Stephanie Hanna, retired
  • Leslie Gordon
  • Paul Laustsen

The Shoemaker Communications Awards were established in honor of Gene Shoemaker, a USGS astrogeologist who is considered the founder of the science of lunar and planetary geology.  He was noted as an effective and prolific communicator as well as an innovative scientist researcher.  One of his greatest assets was his ability to communicate scientific concepts to non-scientists in a way that could be easily understood and appreciated.

John Bwarie Monica Buchanan Kate Long Margaret Vinci
John Bwarie
(high resolution image)
Monica Buchanan
(high resolution image)
Kate Long
(high resolution image)
Margaret Vinci
(high resolution image)
Lucy Jones Dale Cox Connie Lackey
Lucy Jones
(high resolution image)
Dale Cox
(high resolution image)
Connie Lackey
(high resolution image)
...Local organizations receive communication awards for ShakeOut
(Released: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 16:43:36 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt will deliver a plenary lecture on ocean science February 21 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego


Contact Information:

Leslie Gordon ( Phone: 650-793-1534 );




San Diego, Calif. – U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt will deliver a plenary lecture on ocean science February 21 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego. Three USGS scientists will be recognized as AAAS fellows, and several other USGS scientists will be presenting key findings at the meeting. USGS presentations include:

 

Plenary Lecture

 

Science under the Sea: How Ocean Research is Helping Solve Societal Challenges

USGS Director Marcia McNutt

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Room 6AB - San Diego Convention Center

 

Elected AAAS Fellows

 

Owen P. Bricker

For seminal contributions to the field of aqueous geochemistry and for unstinting support and mentoring of young scientists in the field of watershed biogeochemistry.

 

Joan J. Fitzpatrick

For national and world leadership in the science and communication of paleoclimatology, and as developer and technical director of the National Ice Core Laboratory.

 

Tom Hermann

For advancing biological science and its communication, overseeing the USGS-National Biological Information Infrastructure Program.

 

USGS Presentations (in chronological order)

 

The Geologic Record of Dust Deposition

Daniel R. Muhs

Press Conference: Friday, February 19, 2010, 9:00 AM

Newsroom, Room 15B, Mezzanine Level, San Diego Convention Center

Presentation: Friday, February 19, 2010: 1:50 PM

Room 8 - San Diego Convention Center

Dust sediments preserved as early as the last glacial period provide new insight on how dust in the atmosphere affects the Earth. Changes in dust trajectories and amount of deposition over the last glacial-to-interglacial period has varied, and records of these changes are found in ice sheets, lakes, ocean basins, and soils, which have captured dust sediments over space and time. Studying these records allows USGS scientists to better understand how dust has affected Earth processes, such as climate and vegetation growth.

 

Airborne Matter "Geotoxicology:" Public Health, Policy, and Environmental Security

Geoffrey S. Plumlee

Press Conference: Friday, February 19, 2010, 9:00 AM

Newsroom, Room 15B, Mezzanine Level, San Diego Convention Center

Presentation: Friday, February 19, 2010: 3:10pm

Room 8 - San Diego Convention Center

Dusts from the World Trade Center collapse and ash and smoke produced by the recent southern California wildfires will be used as research examples to illustrate the role that earth scientists can play in helping health scientists understand the health effects of airborne particulate matter. The air we breathe, depending upon where we are, what we are doing, the time of year, and many other factors, can contain a complex variety of airborne PM from many different human and natural sources, and workplace and environmental exposures to different types of PM have been linked to a variety of adverse health effects ranging from increased asthma and heart attack risk to scarring of the lungs and cancers.

 

The Great Southern California ShakeOut: From Science to the Community and Back Again

Lucile M. Jones

Friday, February 20, 2010, 1:30pm

Room 10 - San Diego Convention Center

Panelists describe the ShakeOut experience and how it brought science to the public to improve resiliency after large earthquakes.  Lucy will focus on the scenario creation and the science used to develop it.  

 

Gene Expression, Pathology and Contaminants in Pacific Sea Otters

Keith Miles

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 10:50 AM

Room 6D - San Diego Convention Center

Gene expression technologies have the potential of providing methods for monitoring long-term effects of contaminants and disease on free-ranging marine wildlife species. These methods may explain the mechanisms by which these stressors can affect an individual over a long period, and aid in the design of therapeutic and preventative strategies to treat and protect susceptible individuals and populations at risk from oil exposure. Using evidence from captive animals and recent captures, scientists are developing an understanding of gene expression as it relates to the immune system of the sea otter and other marine megafauna, and the potential effects of contaminants or disease.


The Invisible Tax on Reef Building: Carbonate Loss Through Dissolution

Kimberley Yates

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 2:50 PM

Room 6D - San Diego Convention Center 

Coral reefs are vital to the long-term viability of coastal society, providing economic, recreational, and aesthetic value from which coastal communities thrive. Coral reef communities develop over thousands of years as calcifying organisms form skeletons that result in the 3-dimensional structure of reefs, and carbonate sediments as their skeletons degrade after death. Recent studies indicate that changes in seawater chemistry resulting from ocean acidification reduce calcification rates of marine organisms. Implications for carbonate sediment accumulation rates on reefs will be discussed.

 

Extended Satellite Crop Monitoring in Response to the Global Food Crisis

James Verdin

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 4:10 PM

Room 8 - San Diego Convention Center

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a decision support system sponsored by the Office of Food for Peace of the U.S. Agency for International Development. FEWS NET identifies the times and places where aid is required by the most food insecure populations of the developing world. During 2009 and 2010, USGS, NOAA, and NASA are establishing expedited procedures for processing of satellite data and model runs, and web delivery of results.  The components of this new system will be described, and progress to date reported. Examples from Central America, Africa, and Afghanistan will be reviewed and highlighted.

 

Science under the Sea: How Ocean Research is Helping Solve Societal Challenges

USGS Director Marcia McNutt

Sunday, February 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Room 6AB - San Diego Convention Center

USGS explorations in marine science – from gas hydrates to ocean acidification to sea-level rise to undersea landslides – both anticipate and inform public policy in many fields of highest concern to society, whether on land or at sea: for example, energy, climate change, human health, and natural hazards.  

 

More information about the AAAS meeting is online at http://www.aaas.org/meetings/2010/

...USGS scientists present findings at AAAS annual meeting
(Released: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 17:45:07 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: Los Angeles - It's working! On November 13, 2008 more than 5.47 million people in southern California participated in The Great Southern California ShakeOut, now officially the largest earthquake drill in the Nation's history - and according to some community leaders, a success that should be practiced every year


Contact Information:

Dale Cox ( Phone: (916) 997-4029 ); Ines Pearce ( Phone: (877) 898-9747 );




Now Planning for 2009 

Los Angeles - It's working! On November 13, 2008 more than 5.47 million people in southern California participated in The Great Southern California ShakeOut, now officially the largest earthquake drill in the Nation's history - and according to some community leaders, a success that should be practiced every year. 

"This is the best single effort in emergency preparedness in my nearly 20 years in the business," wrote Mike Martinet, Executive Director, South Bay Office of Disaster Management (Area G).  "I hope that we can continue to use this scenario or some variations thereof for years to come."

The Great Southern California ShakeOut was a week of events, including the drill, all based on the 7.8 Magnitude San Andreas Fault earthquake scenario. All the resources, tools and information are still readily available at http://www.shakeout.org/. Much of the concept and organization came out of the Earthquake Country Alliance, a public-private partnership, which includes the US Geological Survey, Southern California Earthquake Center, California Office of Emergency Services, Caltech, State Farm, City of Los Angeles, Art Center College of Design, and many other partners.

When organizers of The ShakeOut concluded the historic week of earthquake preparedness events, including millions taking part in the "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" drill, they convened a meeting of emergency managers and community leaders to examine value of the effort.   When asked what could be done better, the participants overwhelmingly supported the idea of turning it into an annual day or week of disaster preparedness activities. 

"We didn't know when we set out to do this, if anyone would participate," said Lucy Jones, Chief Scientist of the USGS Multi-Hazards Demonstration Project.  "They did, and we're now getting calls to do something annually." 

The requests to continue the effort have been so constant over the past month that the Earthquake Country Alliance has agreed to look into expanding into a statewide organization.  "We certainly have heard many ideas of how we can get more people involved - and we'd like to do just that!" said Mark Benthien, Executive Director of the Earthquake Country Alliance and Outreach Director for the Southern California Earthquake Center.   "We hope that an annual ShakeOut-like drill will be part of an expanded statewide earthquake awareness program for many years."

One month after the Great Southern California ShakeOut, people are still talking about what they did during the ShakeOut Drill.  Emergency managers and community leaders are talking about what worked and what could have been done better, and where to go next.  Among their suggestions: improved communications with citizens groups, neighborhood watch groups, and the public; getting more buy-in from the top-level in many organizations, businesses, and educational institutions; and giving people more time to get ready. 

When asked what worked in the ShakeOut, numerous participants told organizers how the effort was based on comprehensive and multidisciplinary science, coupled with materials that explained and visualized it so clearly, and led by established experts that gave ShakeOut credibility and made people take it seriously.  Despite the seriousness, many considered the experience to be fun. ShakeOut organizers received many photos from around the region showing people under tables and desks performing Drop, Cover, and Hold On - smiling. 

MORE SHAKEOUT FACTS AND QUOTES

How does more than 5 million people compare to other drills around the world?  The massive annual earthquake drills in seismically hyper-active Japan draw an estimated 800,000 participants, while a May 2008 drill in South Korea may have involved as many as 8.2 million people.  Organizers here hope to expand the level of participation and range of life-saving preparedness activities in 2009! 

ShakeOut Total Participants: 5.47 million

  • Imperial: 44,407
  • Kern: 107,734
  • Los Angeles: 2.7 million
  • Orange: 896,669
  • Riverside: 590,677
  • San Bernardino: 501,677
  • San Diego: 468,878
  • Ventura: 83,472
  • Other: 59,369
...Results Are In: Great Southern California ShakeOut Successful, Sets U.S. Record!
(Released: Fri, 19 Dec 2008 15:02:12 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: Earthquakes are far more than just geological phenomena-they can greatly alter the way people live by damaging whole communities.


Contact Information:

Clarice  Nassif Ransom ( Phone: 703-648-4299 );




Earthquakes are far more than just geological phenomena-they can greatly alter the way people live by damaging whole communities.

A new USGS video production, "The Great Southern California ShakeOut: An Earthquake Scenario Based On Science," shows how science is used by government agencies, emergency responders, policymakers and the public to help build safer communities. It is based on the USGS ShakeOut Scenario, the scientific foundation for the Great Southern California ShakeOut, a region-wide earthquake drill conducted on November 13, 2008.

"When I gaze out my window, I realize that every building, every high-rise I can see from the 15th floor here in city hall in Los Angeles, will be impacted by this catastrophic earthquake," said Jim Featherstone, General Manager, City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department, in an interview in the video, referring to the theoretical magnitude 7.8 earthquake that is part of the ShakeOut Scenario. "The science of the Great ShakeOut has allowed me to bring that perspective home."

Other interview subjects include the USGS, the Office of Homeland Security, the County of Riverside, the California Governor's Office, the East Valley Water District, the Art Center College of Design, the County of San Bernardino, and a professor emeritus from Colorado State University.

In addition to interviews, this video also discusses how such an earthquake would affect downtown Los Angeles and the San Andreas Fault-crossing Cajon Pass, a narrow corridor through the San Gabriel Mountains known as an important "lifeline corridor" where roads, railroads, water and energy pipelines, and electrical and communications infrastructure provide service to millions of residences, businesses, commuters and communities in Southern California.

You can view this video in episode 75 of CoreCast at www.usgs.gov/corecast. Learn more about the USGS's role in the Great ShakeOut at www.usgs.gov/shakeout. More information about the Great Southern California ShakeOut can be found at www.shakeout.org.

...How Science Helps Communities Prepare for and Survive Earthquakes
(Released: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 19:40:51 EDT)

Quick look:
Summary: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will join California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Geological Survey Director Mark Myers and other leaders in participating in the The Great Southern California Shakeout.


Contact Information:

Joan Moody ( Phone: 202-208-6416 );




Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will join California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Geological Survey Director Mark Myers and other leaders in participating in the The Great Southern California Shakeout.

...Secretary Kempthorne to Join Gov. Schwarzenegger, Other Leaders for Great Southern California Shakeout Earthquake Drill
(Released: Thu, 13 Nov 2008 10:10:02 EDT)

Podcasts and Video

Audio/Podcasts

What Would a Large Earthquake Do to Downtown L.A.?
USGS CoreCast hosted by Clarice Nassif Ransom

USGS Scientist Ken Hudnut on the science behind the ShakeOut Scenario earthquake

The Great Southern California ShakeOut: An Earthquake Scenario Based On Science
USGS CoreCast hosted by Clarice Nassif Ransom

Earthquakes? Don't Freak Out—ShakeOut! (A CoreCast video interview with Lucy Jones)

Videos/B-roll

Preparedness nowPreparedness Now (Streaming | Video)
This film depicts the realistic outcome of a hypothetical, but plausible, magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault in Southern California.

San Andreas Fault: Highway (Streaming | Video)
B-roll of trains, powerlines, roads, and utilities over the San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass.

San Andreas Fault: Highway 2 (Streaming | Video)
B-roll of trains, powerlines, roads, and utilities over the San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass.

San Andreas Fault: Train (Streaming | Video)
B-roll of trains, powerlines, roads, and utilities over the San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass.

San Andreas Fault: Train 2 (Streaming | Video)
B-roll of trains, powerlines, roads, and utilities over the San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass.

San Andreas Fault: Lost Lake (Streaming | Video)
B-roll of Lost Lake directly over the San Andreas Fault at Cajon Pass.

Photos and Imagery


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Page Last Modified: Thursday, October 15, 2009