- Read our report on the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history
- Read the press release
- Find out about the 2016 Drill
The Los Angeles Earthquake: Get Ready campaign uses public theater, spectacle, simulation and great design to encourage Angelinos to prepare themselves for a major earthquake. The Norman Lear Center joined with the Art Center College of Design in its effort to utilize the tools of entertainment education for a public disaster preparedness campaign. The Get Ready campaign was carried out during the Great Southern California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history, in November 2008. Ultimately, almost 5.5 million Southern Californians simultaneously responded to the imagined impact of a 7.8 earthquake. Schools, businesses and government agencies across Southern California staged evacuations, search and rescue simulations, and medical triage — complete with stage make-up, fake injuries and fast-changing disaster scenarios.
In order to evaluate the impact of the multimedia campaign and the Drill, the Lear Center won a grant from the Innovation Fund at the Annenberg School for Communication. The first report released in September 2009, found that the ShakeOut was very successful at creating an abiding interest in earthquake preparedness. The dramatic and social aspects of this event no doubt contributed to its visibility and viability as a method to mobilize personal and public action. One month after the ShakeOut, an astonishing 97% of respondents said they would participate in an annual drill. In September 2009, the California State Senate passed a resolution to support annual statewide drills that will be held on the third Thursday of October each year. The next Drill will be on October 20, 2016, at 10:20AM. So Get Ready!
Watch the Preparedness Now video:
Ever since the San Francisco quake in 1906, Californians have known that they lived in earthquake country. And ever since then state and local governments, public health officials and voluntary groups have conducted disaster preparedness campaigns to help Californians get ready for an inevitable catastrophic quake. However despite ongoing efforts to encourage households, businesses, schools, organizations and individuals to prepare, rates of preparedness have been stagnant over the past decade.
In 2006, the Norman Lear Center partnered with Art Center College of Design in its effort to develop an innovative public safety campaign. Bringing together a unique mix of designers, researchers, and earthquake experts, The Los Angeles Earthquake: Get Ready campaign sought to measurably increase earthquake preparedness throughout the Greater Los Angeles area. The Get Ready effort was designed to work in tandem with the Great Southern California ShakeOut, a series of earthquake related events, including the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history.
As a partner in the Get Ready campaign, the Lear Center contributed its expertise in using media outreach and public spectacle for the purpose of civic engagement. Lear Center Director Marty Kaplan also developed a comic book about earthquake denial that was included in The L.A. Earthquake Sourcebook. In cooperation with the Earthquake Country Alliance, which organized the ShakeOut events, the Lear Center conducted an evaluation of the impact of the earthquake drill on those who signed up to participate.
The effort serves as a model for future public disaster campaigns that utilize new design methodologies and effectively mobilize the media.
The Great Southern California ShakeOut included a week’s worth of activities (November 12 through 18, 2008) including:
THE DRILL The signature ShakeOut event was the nation’s largest earthquake drill, which included over five million participants, or one in four residents of southern California.
L.A. EARTHQUAKE: GET READY RALLY Held at the Nokia Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, the Rally featured earthquake preparedness information, presentations by state and regional leaders, vendors, food and live entertainment.
AFTER SHOCK This three week long online interactive simulation allowed participants to imagine how they might respond to a major earthquake. Join the Facebook group for a continuing conversation about earthquake preparedness. Art Center Aftershock Web Page.
GOLDEN GUARDIAN 2009 EXERCISE The nation’s largest state-sponsored emergency exercise took place November 13-18, including more than 5,000 participants from dozens of local, state, and federal agencies and private organizations.
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL EARTHQUAKE CONFERENCE More than 400 international disaster response experts, policy makers and academics href=”http://iec.lacity.org/html/schedule3.html” target=”_blank”>gathered to share information/a> about earthquake preparedness, response and recovery.
Several multimedia and print materials were produced for the ShakeOut campaign:
PREPAREDNESS NOW This arresting film depiction of the USGS ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario, directed by Theo Alexopoulos, delivers helpful information about how to prepare.
THE L.A. EARTHQUAKE SOURCE BOOK Designed by award-winning graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister and created by Art Center students and faculty, this unique book artfully combines striking graphic imagery, literary excerpts and a compilation of the latest scientific data about earthquake preparedness and recovery.Buy it on Amazon.com
A RIVER IN EGYPT This comic book, with a story by Marty Kaplan and visuals by Darren Ragle, vividly illustrates the temptation to live in a state of denial about earthquakes in Southern California.
USGS GROUND SHAKING ANIMATIONS The U.S. Geological Survey partnered with researchers across the country to develop detailed computer simulations of the effects of the 7.8 earthquake scenario in 14 communities in Southern California.
PUTTING DOWN ROOTS IN EARTHQUAKE COUNTRY This 32-page earthquake science and preparedness handbook is updated every year, in English and Spanish. Special editions of the handbook are available for Utah, Nevada, Alaska, and various regions of California.
THINKING ABOUT EARTHQUAKES This podcast of a panel discussion at the Los Angeles Public Library focuses on how L.A. has prepared itself for earthquakes in the 15 years since the Northridge quake. Panelists include Mariana Amatullo, director of The L.A. Earthquake: Get Ready project; Michael Dear, Professor of Geography and Urban Planning at USC; Lucy Jones, Caltech and USGS seismologist; Dennis Mileti, Director of the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center; David Ulin, author of The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith.
USGS VIDEO GALLERY Watch videos of a wide range of experts, including scientists, firefighters, members of the military, and public administrators, talking about how science can help us prepare for the big one.
SHAKEOUT OVERVIEW This presentation by Mark Benthien, Director of Communication, Education and Outreach for the Southern California Earthquake Center, provides a broad overview of the Great Southern California ShakeOut Campaign.
BEAT THE QUAKE This interactive quiz helps you learn about how to make your home a safe place during an earthquake.
Lear Center press release: Participants in Largest U.S. Earthquake Drill Say They’d Do It Every Year (September 17, 2009)
Socialde Signzine: Prepararsi al Terremoto (July 15, 2009)
Metropolis Magazine: Bookshelf (May 13, 2009)
Los Angeles Earthquake Blog: Earthquake drill will be bigger than last year’s (May 4, 2009)
Core 77: Book Review (January 21, 2009)
KTLA: Millions take part in massive SoCal earthquake drill (November 14, 2008)
CNN: Largest earthquake drill in history “rattles” California (November 13, 2008) photos of the drill:
KCET: Design Matters. (November 13, 2008)
KCET: Commentary by David L. Ulin (November 13, 2008)
KCET: Get Involved: Earth Shake, Garden Make (November 13, 2008)
Los Angeles Times: Earthquake drill aims to make state more prepared (November 13, 2008)
Reuters: Southern California stages biggest U.S. quake drill (November 13, 2008)
North County Times: Region: Earthquake drill set for Thursday (November 8, 2008)
Curbed L.A.: Mayor Villaraigosa announces biggest U.S. earthquake drill ever (June 3, 2008)
Government Security: California plans largest earthquake drill in U.S. history (June 12, 2008)
ABC Los Angeles: Millions participate in massive earthquake drill to prepare for Southern California’s “big one” (November 11, 2008)
NBC Los Angeles: Fictional 7.8-magnitude earthquake to hit SoCal on November 13 (November 7, 2008)
The Wall Street Journal: Crying wolf about the “Big One” hasn’t worked, so let’s party (November 11, 2008)
Ventura County Star: Photo and Video Gallery (November 13, 2008)
CBS News: Californians fake it for huge quake drill (November 14, 2008)
The Associated Press: Cast of millions put on Calif. earthquake drill (November 13, 2008)
U.S. Dept. of the Interior Release: Secretary Kempthorne to join Gov. Schwarzenegger, other leaders for California ShakeOut Drill (November 12, 2008)
KCET: Are you ready to +be shaken up (November 12, 2008)
Visual Culture: A conversation with Mariana Amatullo (November 25, 2008)
ABC Los Angeles: Bracing for “The Big One” (November 10, 2008)
NEHRP Seismic Waves Newsletter: Drilling toward a new level of preparedness (May 2009)
National Public Radio: Calif. prepares for massive earthquake (November 12, 2008)
Design 21: Get ready for the Big ShakeOut (November 6, 2008)
Orange County Register: 5 million taking part in SoCal quake drill (November 12, 2008)
Office of the Mayor, City of L.A.: (PDF) Mayor Villaraigosa urges Angelenos to prepare for the Big One and participate in ShakeOut (June 4, 2008)
USGS Newsroom: Results are in: Great Southern California ShakeOut successful, sets U.S. record (December 19, 2008)