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ShakeOut Wants You Prepared for the Big One

By Sophia Kercher
Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008, at 09:07PM
Shakeout Quake Intensity Image USGS

This map illustrates shake intensity for the 7.8 magnitude quake that forms the model for the ShakeOut scenario to used by agencies on November 13.

As soon as coverage of July's 5.4 quake hit the air, news reports seemed to have a single question: Could this be a precursor for the Big One?

This Thursday, November 13, The Great Southern California ShakeOut is calling on California to get prepared for future rumbles. A coordinated event will have companies and agencies around the region simulating what they would do if a major earthquake hit the area.

"It's a very easy thing. At 10am on Thursday just drop, cover and hold," says Ines Pearce, an Earthquake County Alliance partner. If you're not familiar with the drill, the idea is to get under a desk or table and cover your head -- in case items shake loose or fall on you -- and hold on strongly to the ground. The exercise is suggested to last for two minutes.

Businesses and households are encouraged to participate by registering on the ShakeOut website, which offers a downloadable script to aid in organizing the drill.

Government agencies will be following their own script, testing disaster response plans and communications systems to make sure they're adequately prepared for what might face them in the aftermath of a large quake.

The Shakeout Drill hopes to raise awareness about the potential of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault -- that's approximately 5,000 times bigger than the earthquake that shook us in July.

If you're like us, you're extra leary of earthquakes because of the density of tall, older buildings in Downtown. Pearce advises residents take measures in their homes to prevent potentially loose materials from falling during a quake.

After practicing for surviving the Big One, Angelenos are welcome to further educate themselves at the "Get Ready Rally" on Friday, November 14, from 4pm - 9pm at L.A. Live's Nokia Plaza. The event, put on by Art Center, will address more ways to be earthquake-ready and feature presentations by city leaders and live entertainment. Organizers will also unveil the interactive game "After Shock," an on-line simulation of the individual and social impacts of a major earthquake on the communities of Southern California.

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