General information

Resources for Healthcare Entities Participating in the Great California ShakeOut Drill

The Great California ShakeOut drill will be held Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. to help Californians prepare for the next big earthquake. In addition to hospitals, many other health care entities such as clinics, long term care facilities and more participate in this annual event. Their participation varies from promoting staff and family preparedness to full-scale exercises.

California is earthquake country and it is important for every individual, family and business to plan accordingly.

The Earthquake Country Alliance Healthcare Planning Committee has collected over 75 healthcare-specific resources to assist hospitals and other healthcare partners in planning for this event. The committee thanks the following organizations and agencies who have contributed to this effort:

• Alameda County Medical Center 
• UCLA Health System
• California Primary Care Association
• Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles
• UCSF Medical Center
• Kaiser
• Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development (OSHPD)
• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Become an active part of this great experience. Register your facility and begin planning for the Great California ShakeOut drill at

Mitigation Resources

  • FEMA 74 Reducing the Risks of Nonstructural Earthquake Damage – A Practical Guide

FEMA 74 explains the sources of earthquake damage that can occur in nonstructural components and provides information on effective methods for reducing risk associated with nonstructural earthquake damage. It is intended for use by a non-engineer audience that includes building owners, facility managers, maintenance personnel, store or office managers, corporate or agency department heads, and homeowners. Furthermore, the guide contains seventy-two examples, complete with photos of actual damage and details illustrating correct mitigation measures.

The selection of design solutions recommended by FEMA 74 must be consistent with the scope and objectives selected for the seismic mitigation project. Some design solutions can be implemented without consideration of the building code and without engineering expertise. Other design solutions rely on building codes and standards applicable to the specific building. For California hospital buildings the applicable building code is the California Administrative Code and the California Building Code. If engineering consultants are engaged to provide design solutions, the selection of seismic force levels, design coefficients, and design methods depends upon the seismic performance objectives selected.

Specific design solutions for nonstructural items fall into three broad categories:

NON-ENGINEERED (NE): These are typically simple, generic details or common sense measures that can be implemented by a handy worker or maintenance personnel using standard items from any hardware store. Many of these solutions apply to contents that are not directly covered by building code provisions. As an example, Chapter 6 FEMA 74 contains a detail showing the general configuration for anchoring a bookcase to a stud wall (see Figure and identifies the parts needed but does not explicitly indicate the size of the angle bracket or screws needed; this is left to the handy worker based on the size and weight of the particular bookcase and the type and spacing of studs. Some of these types of solutions have failed in past earthquakes, usually due to undersized bolts and hardware or because bolts have failed to engage a structural member. As a result, Available at: non-engineered solutions are generally not appropriate for hospitals or other facilities that have chosen operational functionality as a performance level objective.

PRESCRIPTIVE (PR): Prescriptive design details are available in the public domain that have been engineered to meet or exceed code requirements for a set of common conditions and can be used directly in many situations. One prescriptive detail included in Chapter 6 is the anchorage detail for a residential or small commercial water heater (see Figure This detail is applicable for the anchorage of a water heater, up to 100 gallons, attached to a wood stud wall. The detail calls out the required hardware and the size and spacing of fasteners.

While there are only a limited number of these details currently available, it is expected that more such details will be developed as engineers, architects, and specialty contractors become more familiar with the new code requirements for nonstructural components. Some of the prescriptive details have been developed by or for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD), the entity in California responsible for overseeing the seismic safety of hospital facilities. These details along with the Policy Intent Notice 51 that provides guidelines for the implementation and use of the OSHPD pre-Approved Details as well as other preapprovals can be found on OSHPD’s web site under the following address:

ENGINEERING REQUIRED (ER): These are nonstructural anchorage details specifically developed by a design professional on a case-by-case basis for a specific set of conditions. First, the owner and design professional need to agree on the desired level of protection for the anticipated level of shaking, only then can the design professional develop details consistent with the objectives. Design methods and design seismic coefficients are selected based on the seismic performance objectives applicable to the specific building. An anchorage detail designed for a lateral force of 1.0 g will generally be more robust and more costly than one designed for a lateral force of 0.1g. Higher design forces and more complex engineering methods may be required to meet higher seismic performance objectives.

Planning Resources

Response Resources

Recovery Resources