The Big Fake One

Did you hear about it on the radio?
Did you read about it in the news here or here?
Did you see it on the news?

Go and watch the movie (click here).


The Big One thrashed Southern California this morning — in a practice scenario that commenced with a simulated 7.8 quake at 10 a.m.
Millions of people were expected to participate.

Ok, don’t you agree with me that this is the coolest thing ever? Obviously, earthquakes are much more rare as, let’s say, fires, but an earthquake drill is at least as important as a fire drill, since the area affected by a major earthquake will be so much larger and the coordination of emergency response teams so much more difficult.

I’ve mentioned the Shake Out in an earlier blog post and I can only hope that, if you live in the LA area, you participated. You can never be prepared enough for something that is very likely to happen in our life time.

Even my office was involved in the response to the ‘fake’ earthquake – and mind you, we’re roughly 400 miles up north from LA.

Here are a few general quake tips (courtesy of L.A. Times):

To prepare for an earthquake, secure objects that may fall over and cause damage, such as bookshelves or large televisions, said Mark Benthien, director of outreach for the Southern California Earthquake Center, who is helping to organize the Great Southern California ShakeOut. Latch cabinets, strap bookshelves and attach water heaters to the wall. (And don’t forget to get your home properly bolted and secured and up to recent building codes, said Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.)

* Take the time to create a family disaster plan — something too few people do, Benthien said. Agree on a spot where family members can meet if they are separated in a disaster. Designate an out-of-state point person whom family members can call to check in with after the earthquake. Out-of-state phone lines will probably be the first to be reestablished after a disaster, Benthien said.

* Store plenty of water. Each person in a household should get a gallon per day, Benthien advises.

* Keep a fire extinguisher at home and at work. Fires often break out after earthquakes.

* When an earthquake starts, know what to do: Drop, cover and hold on. Quickly get under a table or desk and hold on in order to “move with the earthquake,” Benthien said. If no table is near, get down next to an interior wall. Cover your head and neck and curl up, making yourself as small as possible.

  1. That really is such a good idea. We live further up north from you, in the shadow of an active volcano, so we have earthquake drills and volcano drills! My 4 and 6 year-olds act like the drills are just a normal occurence while I still freak out at the thought! lol

  2. I would be totally freaked by one! I guess it’s why I live in a relatively quake free zone!

  3. I read about it on Spiegel Online:,1518,590446,00.html

    Over 5 million participants!! Wow! You and your co-workers didn’t go on a field trip yesterday?

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