Southern California

Californians Unprepared for Large-Scale Earthquakes

This story first appeared July 14, 2014. We are re-posting in the wake of the 6.0 Napa earthquake.

Most Californians are not prepared for a large-scale earthquake, and the state’s Office of Emergency Services knows it.

In a series of web videos, a trained emergency responder “ambushes” residents in Southern California to find out how prepared they are for a large earthquake. The videos are a different take on preparedness education after a recent survey revealed that less than 35 percent of Californians have learned how to make their house secure.

And in the case of the Gingery family, featured in one of the videos, the answer is not really.

With heavy equipment resting unsecured on top of kitchen and living room shelves and cabinets, the Gingery’s assessor called for some changes for the family of four.

The Gingery family was also placed inside the “Big Shaker,” which replicates a 7.0-magnitude earthquake.

“If that’s what an earthquake feels like, we’re not ready,” said mother Elaine Gingery.

Only 40 percent of homes in the state have family disaster plans and fewer than 20 percent of households have structurally reinforced their home or had it inspected for earthquake resistance.

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