In times of rattling windows and pictures falling from wall, we seek solace in sticky-backed tape, social media sharing, and, above all, our seismologists.
While science can't predict the Big One -- sorry, movie logic and wishful thinking -- it can tell us why and how things shift, and the nature of earthquakes.
One of the clearest voices in the conversation is Dr. Lucy Jones, also known as "The Earthquake Lady." Geotimes called the scientist "the calm after the quake" and indeed she is: Dr. Jones is the go-to person after the ground beneath us rumbles. ("Everyone's favorite seismologist mom" is KCRW's take on the much-accoladed visionary.)
And if they say timing is everything in Hollywood, then the rule applies here: Dr. Jones will speak downtown on Thursday, March 20, just three days after the March 17 morning shaker, a felt-far-and-wide Encino-close quake that registered a 4.4 magnitude.
No doubt the seismology expert will address the very recent event during her DLA talk, but she'll touch upon other quake-related topics, like "the city of Los Angeles on ability to fulfill on build-out potential."
In short? She'll be talking about the fabled Big One. But it's ultimately no fable, given that Dr. Jones and other scientists are dedicated to painting a stark picture of what will happen in the event of a huge quake and what needs to be done.
Want to hear more from the "Seismologist of the City of Los Angeles"? You can: Registration runs from $25 to $60.