Public Safety

Get Ready for the Next Big Earthquake and Shakeout

You’ve heard the predictions, but are you ready for the big one?  Scientists predict that an earthquake of 6.7 magnitude or stronger will occur on the San Andreas Fault in the next 30 years.

Then there is the Rose Canyon fault which runs under the highly populated communities of downtown, Mission Valley and La Jolla. Scientists estimate that fault zone could produce up to a 7.6 magnitude earthquake and it could happen at any time.

Would you survive a major earthquake? Do you know the best way to avoid serious injury or death? The safest action to take during an earthquake is to Drop, Cover and Hold On. You can practice your earthquake response by taking part in the annual statewide Great California ShakeOut on October 20 at 10:20 a.m. – that’s 10/20 at 10:20.

San Diego County officials and state and local emergency preparedness representatives today urged residents to get ready for the “big one” by taking part in the ShakeOut drill. To demonstrate the force of a big earthquake, local company ReadyAmerica brought its QuakeHOLD “Big Shaker” earthquake simulator trailer, which mimics the strength of a 7.5 magnitude or stronger quake. Inside the trailer, unsecured items moved and fell, showing how easily people can be hurt by them.

“We are challenging residents and community and business leaders to register for the ShakeOut drill and make earthquake preparedness part of their emergency plan,” said Chairman Bill Horn, Board of Supervisors. “The Great California ShakeOut drill starts the community thinking about personal preparedness and workplace safety.”

San Diego County residents have three more weeks to join the nearly eight million Californians, including more than 646,000 people in San Diego County, who have already signed up for the Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill.

Once you visit the ShakeOut website to register for the drill, you will find information and resources related to earthquake preparedness.

Last year, 7.9 million people participated in the statewide drill and in San Diego County 691,735 people took part. San Diego County residents, businesses and organizations have participated since the first drill in 2008.

“We encourage people to hold an earthquake drill for ShakeOut and at other times during the year because in a real emergency, people usually react on instinct and do what they have practiced,” said Herman Reddick, interim director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.

Individuals, families, schools, businesses, government agencies and organizations can register for the Great California ShakeOut by going to and clicking on ShakeOut or directly at

“The Great California ShakeOut is the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history. This year, we are closing in on last year’s record of 7.9 million participants,” said Mark Benthien, of the Southern California Earthquake Center, a scientific organization with headquarters at the University of Southern California. “We want to remind San Diegans that even if they participated last year, they need to re-register this year as an individual or organization in order to be counted.”

You can find information about disaster preparedness including earthquake information from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services at