Thousands Join Each Day, You Can Too
Three months from today, at 10 a.m. on November 13, millions of southern Californians will drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and hold on. An earthquake prediction? No. But it is certain that the Great Southern California ShakeOut is on track to being the largest earthquake drill in United States history.
As of today, over 1.7 million people have been registered at www.ShakeOut.org, with over 200 schools and districts leading the effort by scheduling their annual earthquake drills on November 13. The goal is to involve at least 5 million people.
"Something remarkable is happening-people are seeing this as an unprecedented opportunity to really get themselves, their organizations, and their communities prepared," said Mark Benthien, director for Outreach at the Southern California Earthquake Center at USC. Many participants will go even further with full-scale drills of how they will speed their recovery in a massive earthquake. "Every day we hear from schools, businesses, and many others about what they are planning and how they are excited to be a part of the ShakeOut, and to encourage others to participate."
Why? An enormous earthquake is in Southern California's future, and the ShakeOut Drill is a chance to practice so residents are ready when it happens. ShakeOut is based on a potential magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault-approximately 5,000 times larger than the magnitude 5.4 earthquake that shook southern California on July 29. Dr. Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey has led a group of over 300 scientists, engineers, and others to study the likely consequences of this potential earthquake in great detail. The result is the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario (urbanearth.usgs.gov), which is also the basis of this year's statewide emergency response exercise, Golden Guardian 2008 (www.ohs.ca.gov).
"All this is coming together in a way that has never happened before," said Dr. Jones. "What's really rewarding as a scientist is to see how the scientific foundation provided by the ShakeOut Scenario seems to be inspiring real preparedness actions throughout the region. This is important because it's what we do now, before a big earthquake, that will determine what our lives will be like after." Detailed instructions for how to participate and get prepared for earthquakes are on the ShakeOut website.
Here are key aspects of the ShakeOut:
To participate, go to www.ShakeOut.org and pledge your family, school, business, or organization's participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill, encourage others to participate, and improve their earthquake preparedness. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
USGS provides science for a changing world. For more information, visit www.usgs.gov.
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