October 19, 2010

Great California ShakeOut 2010!

It's that time of year again! It's the Great California ShakeOut 2010!

The Great California ShakeOut is the largest annual statewide earthquake drill held on the third Thursday of October each year.

ShakeOut is based on a magnitude 7.8 earthquake striking along the southern section of the San Andreas fault causing widespread damage and destruction.

The purpose of the ShakeOut is to help public safety agencies, citizens, businesses, and organizations prepare for a major earthquake and practice how to protect ourselves when they happen.

ShakeOut History

ShakeOut began as the "Great Southern California ShakeOut" (2008). It was the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history at the time with a total of 5.4 million participants spanning eight counties in the southern part of the state.

For it's second year the Great California ShakeOut (2009) expanded to include all 58 counties, divided into 11 areas. More than 6.9 million Californians participated, practicing "Drop, Cover and Hold On" and other aspects of family, school, and organizational emergency plans.

This year, on October 21 at 10:21 a.m. (PT), 7.2 million+ people in California (as of 10/19) will practice "Drop, Cover and Hold On" in the ShakeOut!

In addition, this year Nevada and Guam will also be joining California with a drill on the same day (October 21). In April, 8 Central States will hold their own Shakeout.

About Earthquakes

Earthquakes can strike anywhere at anytime without warning. In fact, thousands of earthquakes occur everyday throughout the world with most too small to even be noticed.

The danger lies in the number of strong, or even worse, major quakes that strike periodically. These quakes have the potential to cause severe widespread damage, death and serious injury if they strike near populated areas.

Having personally experienced every major shaker to hit Southern California starting with the 6.6M San Fernando Quake (Feb. 1971), I can attest to the awesome force of "intense" ground shaking generated by a 6.0+ or 7.0+ magnitude earthquake.

There is just something about watching every single thing around you shaking violently all at once in different directions that is, well let's just say, unforgettable!

In 2008, I monitored Los Angeles County Fire department communications on my scanner during the drill and was amazed as to the extent of the drill and simulated rescue operations occurring in real time - even one scenario involving a fire station collapse with firefighters trapped! 

Visit the official California ShakeOut Website below to register and/or get instructions for Families, Individuals, Schools, Businesses, etc., on how to plan your drill, get prepared, and participate in the ShakeOut. There are also videos, audio files, and earthquake animations to check out.

Related Links of Interest:
Well, that's it for now. Till next time...stay safe and happy scanning!

- RF

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