Scientists Urge Californians to Protect Themselves Ahead of Potentially Devastating Earthquake

A home in Fillmore, Calif. is shown nearly six months after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. (Credit: Joe Pugliese / Los Angeles Times)

Fear of earthquakes is part of life in California.

But people experience this anxiety in different ways. For some, the fear prompts them to take steps to protect themselves: strapping down heavy furniture, securing kitchen cabinets and retrofitting homes and apartments.

For others, the fear prompts denial — a willful ignorance of the dangers for years until the ground starts shaking.

Seismologist Lucy Jones has spent her career trying to understand public attitudes about earthquakes, with a focus on moving people past paralysis and denial.

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