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Caltech and City Earthquake Events Coincide With International ShakeOut Day

Published on Thursday, October 21, 2021 | 5:49 am

People in government offices, businesses and schools throughout Los Angeles County will stop everything for a minute Thursday to “drop, cover and hold on” during a statewide earthquake preparedness drill, now in its 13th year.

The Great California ShakeOut of 2021 is scheduled for 10:21 a.m.

Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory, a focal point for earthquake information in Southern California, will follow the drill by conducting a Zoom presentation Thursday on how people can be prepared for an earthquake.

Deborah Williams-Hedges, senior media relations manager at Caltech, said the hour-long presentation, “Earthquake Threat in California: What Can You Do to Prepare,” begins at noon and follows the campus’ ShakeOut drill.

Before the online event, Caltech will send out a campus notification at 10:21 a.m. advising the campus community to practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” earthquake procedures wherever they are — at a workplace, in a class, or at home. The notification will include information on what protective measures to take in a variety of situations such as the office, theater seating, outdoors, in bed, or anywhere else, Williams-Hedges said.

After the drill, Margaret Vinci, manager of Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory and SoCal ShakeAlert regional coordinator, will be leading the online presentation.

The drill and the presentation coincide with International ShakeOut Day Thursday, which the city of Pasadena is also observing with a citywide drill on Thursday.

Caltech and the city continue to team together to educate the Pasadena community on the hazards of an earthquake and how each community member can prepare for the “Big One,” a large-scale seismological catastrophe that scientists say could occur anytime from movement along the San Andreas Fault in Southern California.

“Earthquakes are unpredictable but we are well overdue for a large quake,” Derderian said in an earlier interview. “We need to be prepared, not scared.”

For more insights about safety during an earthquake, the California Residential Mitigation Program has prepared Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety that can help people be prepared to survive and recover from the next damaging earthquake. These steps are available at

To learn more about Caltech’s Great ShakeOut events, visit

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