The Great Shakeout

Scientists Predict 2018 Will Be a Bad Year for Earthquakes.  That was headline of a November 2017 Time Magazine article.  So far this year there have been over 9,500 earthquakes worldwide. Some of the largest have included a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 23 in the Gulf of Alaska, a 7.5 earthquake on Feb. 25 in Papua New Guinea, a 7.1 shaker in Peru, Aug. 24, a whopping 8.2 in Fiji on Aug. 18, a 7.3 n Venezuela on Aug. 21, and Fiji again on Sept. 6 with a 7.9.

All of these quakes have one thing in common: they all took place on what is known as the Ring of Fire.  The Ring of Fire is a 25,000 mile long horseshoe shaped area in the Pacific Ocean where many earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

We in Southern California just so happen to live on the Ring of Fire. While we don’t have many active volcanoes around us, we do have several active earthquake faults. It’s important for all of us to be ready and prepared for when—not if—an earthquake strikes.

On Thursday, Oct. 18 at 10:18 am millions of people across the world will participate in the Great Shake Out, an opportunity for families, schools and businesses to practice how to drop, cover and hold on when the shaking starts.   We encourage everyone to take the time to put together their own earthquake preparedness plan and consider being part of the Great Shake Out.

Some simple things we can all do before an earthquake include:

  • Store critical supplies (e.g., water, medication) and important document such as insurance policies, memorial plans and wills. Plan on at least a 3 day supply of food and water.
  • Secure items that could fall and cause injuries (e.g., bookshelves mirrors, light fixtures).
  • Look around places where you spend time.  Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts, you Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Drop to the ground, Cover your head and neck with your arms, and if a safer place is nearby, crawl to it and Hold On!

For earthquake preparation tips and to learn more visit www.shakeout.org/california.