California Braces for Fake Quake

By | October 14, 2009

Tomorrow at exactly 10:15 a.m. almost 7 million Californians are expected to drop to the ground, cover their heads, and hold on for dear life.

This curious behavior is part of an event called the Great California Shakeout, a statewide earthquake drill. The drill’s sponsors includes State Farm Insurance, and the Insurance Brokers and Agents of Sacramento used the event to remind the public that their regular homeowners policy does not cover earthquake damage.

“It is better to think about making these plans now — to secure the value of your home with an earthquake insurance policy — rather than waiting until the day after a damaging quake, when it may be too late.” said Glenn Pomeroy, the chief executive officer of the California Earthquake Authority.

It is estimated that only 12 percent of California households have earthquake insurance, which tends to be expensive. Seventy percent of residential earthquake policies are sold from the California Earthquake Authority.

Last year, the event was held for the first time. But it was limited just to Southern California. Organizers estimate the 5 million people participated.

Events include a park-wide evacuation of San Diego’s Balboa Park, site of the San Diego Zoo, a preparedness fair at the San Bernardino County Museum, and a mass casualty drill at the USC Health Science Campus. In San Francisco, the outdoor public warning system will blare across the city, telling people to drop, cover, and hold.

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