September 24, 2013: Dr. Kate Hutton K6HTN: The Great California ShakeOut: What and Why?

In 2008, California experienced its first state-wide earthquake drill, the Great California Shake-Out. This event has recurred every October since then, with public and private sector participation and awareness increasing every year. For the first time, it has become socially acceptable to discuss and practice earthquake preparedness. Although each local area may use a drill scenario specific to their area, the original ShakeOut scenario is very interesting and enlightening, since it emerged from a very large study with much scientific and professional input. It also represents one of the more likely “Big One” scenarios for southern California.

This presentation looks at the reasons for this particular earthquake scenario and what we can learn about the preparations we need to do. In the process, you will gain insight into what we know about California earthquakes and their effects.

Dr. Kate Hutton has been a Staff Seismologist with Caltech's Seismological Laboratory since 1977, involved with data processing for the Southern California Seismic Network. The 2008 ShakeOut inspired her to take a disaster preparedness step that ended up changing her life significantly: she got her amateur radio license.

The photo: Signing the Intensity Map at the California ShakeOut kickoff. Notice all the “red” — intense ground shaking from a hypothetical 7.8 on the San Andreas fault.