ShakeOut 2020 |

Each year on the third Thursday of October, also known as International ShakeOut Day, the Caltech community participates in the Great California ShakeOut. ShakeOut calls itself “the world’s largest earthquake drill” and, through that drill and its associated conversation, seeks to promote earthquake preparedness and safety.

Despite COVID-19, this year’s ShakeOut will continue as planned, with Caltech participants encouraged to adopt the “drop, cover, and hold on” posture at 10:15 a.m. today, October 15, wherever they are. Participants can also download graphics, banners, and icons on the ShakeOut messaging page.

In lieu of the Institute’s usual in-person earthquake preparedness fair, Caltech’s Crisis Management Council has created a bingo card to which participants can attach photos showing how they or their families and coworkers have completed the list of challenges. Each completed card counts as an entry into a drawing for a prize. Entry deadline is October 16.

In addition, the Caltech Science Exchange, a new website that “brings expert insight to the scientific questions that define our time,” will today launch its earthquake section as part of the Institute’s efforts to provide objective and accessible information on earthquake science and engineering.

“For nearly a century,” the site notes, “Caltech scientists and engineers have led the world in earthquake measurement and monitoring. By informing preparedness and response initiatives, and pioneering innovations in early warning, their work aims to reduce the human toll of these natural disasters.”

Through text, illustration, animation, and video, the section explores topics such as the difference between an earthquake’s magnitude and its intensity, how early warning systems such as ShakeAlert work, what we as a society can do to make homes and buildings more earthquake resistant, and steps individuals can take to stay safe and recover quickly from earthquakes.