Californians are Better Prepared for the Next Earthquake after Practicing the ShakeOut Drill

Editor’s Note: This version has been updated to reflect the Oct. 18 ShakeOut events in Southern California and the Bay Area.


On October 18 at 10:18 a.m., the world’s largest earthquake drill commenced around the state and more than 10 million Californians practiced what to do if the ground begins to shake violently.

Prior to the drill, Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci discussed the importance of earthquake preparedness, specifically practicing to Drop, Cover and Hold On, and also touted significant progress with the Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system during The 2018 Great California ShakeOut press conference at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

“Pilot projects are being tested now throughout the state of California to ensure for a reliable and sustainable warning system,” said Ghilarducci.

Simultaneously, the City of Berkeley’s Civic Center Park hosted a similar ShakeOut event in Northern California. Geological Hazards Program Manager Kevin Miller informed the audience of the significance of practicing and preparing for an earthquake, which can help in the recovery process as well as survival.

“You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake,” said Miller. “So be prepared, know what to do and always have a plan.”

Earlier this week, Cal OES Seismic Hazards Branch Chief Ryan Arba detailed how the state has invested more than $25 million to complete the build-out of the EEW system so statewide alerts can be provided beginning this year and expand over the next several years. Speaking at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, he also explained a plan for the state to conduct a Wireless Emergency Alert next month in small targeted areas to understand how long it will take for an alert to be received.

“Earthquake Early Warning and ShakeAlert are innovations that provide yet another tool to protect Californians from earthquakes,” added Arba.

Participating in the ShakeOut drill is an opportunity for families, friends and organizations to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from devastating earthquakes– wherever you live, work, or travel.

This year is the 10th anniversary of ShakeOut, which began in Southern California in 2008 as a drill designed to educate the public about how to protect themselves during a large earthquake and how to be better prepared. The 2008 Great Southern California ShakeOut was based on a potential magnitude-7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault, approximately 5,000 times larger than the magnitude-5.4 earthquake that shook Southern California on July 29, 2008.

ShakeOut has been organized to raise awareness as well as help Californians prepare for earthquakes in the future. Take the first step in preparing today by REGISTERING for The Great California ShakeOut.




Jonathan Gudel

Jonathan Gudel is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES, he has assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, the state's historic drought, the Oroville Dam Emergency Spillway Incident, unprecedented winter storms in 2017, the October (Sonoma County) and December (Santa Barbara County) 2017 wildfires, and statewide wildfire siege in 2018 . Previously, he worked in the newspaper industry for 12 years.

One thought on “Californians are Better Prepared for the Next Earthquake after Practicing the ShakeOut Drill

  • October 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Having access to ground activities same as the weather forecasting can prevent us from being panic in a major earthquake. There are some early warning projects lunched that provide just a few seconds but I feel having access to a warning hours or even days earlier based on ground shaking patterns can be much more helpful like this one which is the international disaster management award winner. But regions like US and Canada are not still covered by this project. I prefer to know we would have a tornado tomorrow to be prepared for it instead of being panicked when it is get started, don’t you?


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