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EPIcenter Network and Resources

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on how to participate
in the Great ShakeOut:

2022   2021

Earthquake Education and Public Information Center (EPIcenter) Network


– Does your institution participate in the Great ShakeOut?

– Are you interested in promoting earthquake and tsunami awareness for your visitors, staff, and local community?

– Do you want to highlight how your institution is preparing for earthquakes and tsunamis?


Join Us! – Become an EPIcenter

Participating institutions include museums, science and technology centers, libraries, park visitor centers, planetaria, aquaria, and any other free-choice learning institution.

What do EPIcenters do?

  • Participate in the Great ShakeOut by organizing an earthquake drill and/or public event at their institutions each October
  • Develop/enhance earthquake and tsunami safety programming for staff and visitors
  • Use and/or distribute educational materials developed by ShakeOut, ShakeAlertEarthquake Country Alliance, and other EPIcenter partners
  • Build partnerships within and between free-choice learning institutions

What are the benefits for EPIcenter partners?

  • Improved resilience of your facility, staff, visitors, and community
  • Increased organizational visibility through participation in ShakeOut and other network activities
  • Access to resources (printed materials, web products, educational materials)
  • Support of a community of professionals committed to earthquake education and preparedness

How can EPIcenters make a difference?

  • Free Choice Learning Environments (FCLEs) are considered some of the most reliable sources of information, even more so than schools and other formal researchers FCLEs are uniquely positioned to increase “hazard literacy” in communities, as they are often focused on place-based, locally relevant learning. [e.g., Groninger, 2016; American Alliance of Museums, 2018; Allison, 2019].
  • Public education and drills are important to increasing procedural knowledge (e.g. muscle memory). FCLEs allow for cross-generational learning, as these organizations educate people outside of traditional educational institutions. This critical learning can help caregivers and parents support children take the correct protective actions. [McBride et al., 2019]

How do I join the EPIcenter Network?

Please contact a member of the EPIcenters Leadership Team:

Jenny Crayne, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry - Portland, OR

Raul Preciado Mendez, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry - Portland, OR

Robert M. de Groot, USGS Earthquake Science Center – Pasadena, CA

EPIcenter partners meet virtually once every two months. 

EPIcenter Resources

Here is a sample of some of the resources developed by and for EPIcenters and other institutions.

NEW! ShakeAlert® Tests, Drills and Exercises Toolkit
The US Geological Survey (USGS)-managed ShakeAlert® Earthquake Early Warning System – in collaboration with academic, government, technical, emergency management, and community partners – is committed to educating the public about protective actions that can mitigate harm from earthquake hazards when shaking is expected. To advance this goal, the USGS has developed this ShakeAlert Tests, Drills, and Exercises Toolkit to incorporate earthquake early warning (EEW) into existing training activities including the Great ShakeOut.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills Toolkit for Free-choice Learning Environments:

The goal of this toolkit is to promote Free-Choice Learning Environments (FCLEs) such as museums, libraries, and park visitor center participation in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills and other exercises. This toolkit contains tools from several organizations invested in increasing earthquake resilience across the United States..

The Extraordinary Voyage of the Kamome: Storytime with Jenny Crayne from OMSI

Science Storytime and STEAM activities featuring the book, The Extraordinary Voyage of Kamome led by Jenny Crayne from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. On April 7, 2013, a little over two years after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a massive tsunami off the coast of northeastern Japan, a lone boat washed up on the shores of Crescent City, California. The boat belonged to a high school in Rikuzentakata. This is the true story of a small boat that, through the efforts of a hardworking group of Crescent City students, forged friendships and brought hope to communities on both sides of the Pacific..


Turtle Story – Journeys to the Past and Sherman Indian School

The Turtle Story is a Native American story of how earthquakes occur told by storyteller Jacque Tahuka-Nunez, a tribal descendant of the Acjachemen Nation. The Turtle Story comes from the Gabrielino-Tongva Nation , also known as the San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians. The video is intended to be an informational and educational tool for those interested in local Native American earthquake legends. Also available, activities for grades K-2 and 3-4 in FEMA’s Tremor Troop (see pages 15-21)


Place-Based Experiences

Throughout Earthquake Country there are many opportunities for place-based immersive experiences. Here are some examples.

Wallace Creek Interpretive Trail and Guide – California

Here you are standing on the San Andreas Fault. At this location it runs northwest to southeast at the base of the hills. At one time Wallace Creek drained straight across the fault, but movement by the San Andreas Fault has offset its drainage course, with the downstream segment about 430 feet northwest of the upstream segment. This is one of the best examples of stream offset across a fault in the world. An interpretive trail is available to learn more about this portion of the San Andreas Fault. More at the Wallace Creek Website hosted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Department of the Interior. The trail guide was created by the Southern California Earthquake Center and the California Institute of Technology.


Hayward Fault Walk – California

The Hayward Fault is an offset of the San Andreas Fault system that dominates the landforms of eastern San Francisco Bay. The relative motion between the North American Plate (southeast) and the Pacific Plate (northwest) create stress that releases energy as earthquakes. This slip slide motion is called a transform fault. Check out the walking tour of the Hayward fault.

© 2023 Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), headquartered at the University of Southern California (USC)
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