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Operation Arizona Bay
November 13, 2008 1:06 PM   Subscribe

This morning millions of Southern Californians dropped, covered, and held on as part of The Great ShakeOut. The largest earthquake preparedness exercise in U.S. history simulates a 7.8 quake rocking the southland.

At 10 a.m. PST participants were instructed via pre-recorded broadcast (English transcript) to imagine "sudden and intense back and forth motions of up to six feet per second."

This drill is part of Golden Guardian 2008, a series of emergency exercises under the direction of Gov. Schwarzenegger and the California office of Homeland Security. Preparing for The Big One is not a matter of if, but when.

As sometimes happens during simulated disaster scenarios, the Big Fake One was followed shortly by real tremors.
posted by Curry (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Forgot to add: computer simulation videos from USGS.
posted by Curry at 1:09 PM on November 13, 2008


Huh. Overslept. Which would make it the first local quake that I'd successfully slept through.

The most recent serious shaker in my neighborhood occurred before I moved here so I found a lot of relatively sensible earthquake awareness in these parts. (And ironically, the two victims in Paso Robles '03 had fled from a part of the building that did not collapse only to get crushed under a crumbling facade just as they got to the exit)
posted by wendell at 1:20 PM on November 13, 2008


The drill at my college was a complete joke - we had to meet in this tiny area between buildings (hello, collapsing sloped roofs) and two enormous trees. Too many people crammed into a small space. Had it been real, we'd all be dead by now.
posted by Xere at 1:56 PM on November 13, 2008


This drill is part of Golden Guardian 2008, a series of emergency exercises under the direction of Gov. Schwarzenegger and the California office of Homeland Security.

Next in the series - Preparing yourself against killer robots from the future. Dealing with atmospheric depressurization. Taking care of kindergarten kids.
posted by qvantamon at 2:48 PM on November 13, 2008


The Great ShakeOut

Not another election thread!

Seriously, this is really good and hopefully will lead to broader earthquake education even where earthquakes are rare, e.g. New Madrid.
posted by dhartung at 3:33 PM on November 13, 2008


Our campus had a siren to signify the earthquake. We could barely hear it in the geology building, but I ducked and covered. Luckily our building has recently been improved to better withstand earthquakes, but last year the geology building was ironically the least safe structure on campus.
posted by DanielDManiel at 4:01 PM on November 13, 2008


well, great. I died.
thanks for telling me after the fact.

dick.
posted by sexyrobot at 4:34 PM on November 13, 2008


We were supposed to get under our desks at work.

... I refused.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:45 PM on November 13, 2008


thanks for telling me after the fact.

ALWAYS BE PREPARED
posted by Curry at 4:56 PM on November 13, 2008


Next in the series - Preparing yourself against killer robots from the future. Dealing with atmospheric depressurization. Taking care of kindergarten kids.

And combating "economic girlie men."
posted by blucevalo at 6:36 PM on November 13, 2008


They're still doing duck and cover? I thought that was only something they make you do in grade school.

Will anyone's desk really save them if the building collapses?

I was in Santa Cruz for Loma Prieta quake. Getting under my desk did not seem like a good idea at the time (I was on the second floor and started to think that jumping out the back window would be a good idea if the building collapsed).

I remember listening to the radio afterwards, expecting the Emergency Broadcasting System to do something, but instead the DJs were just freaking out like everyone else and relaying whatever rumors they heard (although the best radio response I heard (second hand) was from KRQR: "Whoa, what was that? Let's mellow out with some Floyd").

Anyway, I wonder how far they went with this simulation. In real life, everything on any shelf will be scattered on the floor, the electricity will be out, phone lines will be jammed, the roads will be a mess and it will be difficult to buy anything (flashlights, water), and everyone will be on edge and sleep deprived due to the aftershocks.

It's nice they're trying practicing, though.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 8:39 PM on November 13, 2008


Will anyone's desk really save them if the building collapses?

The point of hiding under furniture is not to prevent the entire building from crushing you. That is the job of good building codes followed by engineers and architects. The point of getting under furniture is to prevent crap in the room and bits of ceiling from falling on your head.
posted by DanielDManiel at 9:24 PM on November 13, 2008


There was a joke on the local MD news tonight about this. The newscaster dude said something along the lines of "I haven't seen duck and cover in schools in over 30 years." The weather man replied "It must've been back in the 50s or something."
posted by sperose at 10:26 PM on November 13, 2008


Hrmph, I missed this drill in SF.

Maybe Northern California doesn't give a fuck, or we'd all be fucked (not proper fucked), if a 7.8 did hit the Bay area.

sorry, language.
posted by sir_rubixalot at 10:55 PM on November 13, 2008


At some point a while back those "72 HOURS" billboards got to me and I finally put together a couple of earthquake survival kits (i.e. water, power bars, flashlight, first aid). One in the car and one in the house. But then we pillaged them for Burning Man. I feel like Homer Simpson looking for his emergency beer and finding "IOU 1 emergency beer, signed Homer"
posted by jcruelty at 6:36 PM on November 14, 2008


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