Great California ShakeOut Aims to Increase Earthquake Preparedness

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More than 9 million people were expected to participate Thursday in the Great California Shakeout, an annual event aimed at raising awareness of earthquake preparedness.


A mobile earthquake simulator recreates the conditions of a temblor.

Such proactive measures are particularly important in the state where the looming threat of the “Big One” is a concern for Californians.

“We know that along the San Andreas fault there’s a 99 percent chance that we’re going to have a major earthquake in the next 30 year,” said disaster preparedness expert James Primes, in an interview at “the world’s largest mobile earthquake simulator” in Westlake.

“One of the things that people don’t understand is, what hurt kills people and kills people the most in an earthquake is not collapsing buildings, it’s all the contents  — those chairs, treasures that you have in your home that come flying across the room,” he said.

Primes recommended the following precautionary steps:

-Secure your space. Fasten furniture, shelves and wall-mounted items securely, so that you are not forced to run out of a building when an earthquake hits.

– Make a plan. Who will you contact if phone lines are disrupted and roads are closed?

-Have a disaster supply kit. Water and electricity service may not be available in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake. A disaster kit should be stocked with supplies that will last for at least 72 hours.