Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti urges earthquake preparedness on day of the Great Shakeout

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today urged Angelenos to be vigilant about earthquake preparedness, and stressed the importance of being ready for seismic activity that all Californians know is a matter of “when” not “if.”

The Mayor spoke today on the occasion of the Great ShakeOut, an annual preparedness event held in communities across the world. He joined a press conference hosted at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, where he emphasized the value of taking every possible step to prepare our families and communities — such as developing readiness plans, storing food and water, and discussing with loved ones how to locate and reunite with one another in the event of a natural disaster.

“We drill today, because it could be real tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti. “All Angelenos should be individually prepared, so that everyone understands exactly what we and the people we love should do if an earthquake strikes. The City will continue taking steps to protect lives and property — by strengthening our infrastructure and working with our partners in telecom, transportation, and disaster response to create safer and more resilient communities.”

Mayor Garcetti has made earthquake preparedness a top priority of his administration. In 2015, he signed into law a historic mandatory building retrofit ordinance to ensure that L.A.’s most vulnerable structures are strengthened to prevent loss of life in the event of a major earthquake.

The City of Los Angeles has also dedicated more than $5 million in funding to expand ShakeAlert, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake early warning system, which can provide people with precious seconds to find safety ahead of an earthquake. Mayor Garcetti is also working with the City’s Information Technology Agency (ITA) and USGS to get ShakeAlert to Angelenos via smartphones by the end of 2018.  

As part of today’s drill, the ShakeAlert system was used to send out a test notification that a 7.8 magnitude earthquake had struck the southern section of the San Andreas Fault.

Los Angeles will continue actively preparing for “The Big One,” and Angelenos are strongly encouraged to review the preparedness tips compiled by the Red Cross and stay informed about what the City is doing to preserve life and property in the event of a major earthquake.

Residents are encouraged to visit readyla.org to create an emergency plan, and can sign up to receive free emergency alerts on their phones by texting the word “ready” to 888-777.