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The Great ShakeOut, Pandemic Edition. We're Here To Help Get You Ready For An Earthquake

Jacob Margolis, host of the podcast The Big One: Your Survival Guide spent months learning how to make the best earthquake survival kit. Do you know what you need? (LAist)
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Southern California is earthquake country. Last month's 4.5 rattler reminded us of that.

This morning (10:15 a.m. to be precise) marks the Great ShakeOut — an annual statewide earthquake drill.

With so many people working and studying from home and often with improvised furniture arrangements, our science reporter Jacob Margolis has help for your quake prep.

"Throughout your house, you should make sure you strap down heavy objects like dressers, or mirrors... buy some straps off the internet and you could drill them into studs and connect the other part to whatever heavy object might tip over and potentially hurt someone. That has the added benefit, if you have kids, of protecting them from objects tipping over on top of them."

The same goes for heavy TV screens and computer monitors. And keep a pair of shoes nearby, including by the bed, to protect your feet from shattered glass.
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Great ShakeOut day is also a reminder that being earthquake ready includes being insured against quake damage. Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies won't cover you. But policies bought from a private insurance company or the California Earthquake Authority will.

The authority was created by the state after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. We talked to CEO Glenn Pomeroy:

"A person pays in accordance to what their risk is. In the L.A. area, earthquake insurance is really relatively affordable, even though there's so much risk around here. And for people who rent, earthquake insurance is really inexpensive and everyone ought to check it out."

Only 10% of California homeowners have quake insurance, but Pomeroy says there is always an uptick after a big quake. Renters should know: even if your landlord has earthquake insurance for the building, your belongings aren't covered.


We don't want to scare you, but the Big One is coming. We don't know when, but we know it'll be at least 44 times stronger than Northridge and 11 times stronger than the Ridgecrest quakes last year. To help you get prepared, we've compiled a handy reading list:

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And here's Jacob's guide to assembling your quake kit:

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