ADA National Network Learning Session: Making Your ShakeOut Earthquake Drill Accessible to People with Disabilities

ADA National Network Learning Session: Making Your ShakeOut Earthquake Drill Accessible to People with Disabilities

8th October, 2015

This presentation will include a brief history of the Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA), how the Great California ShakeOut began, and the approach ECA and San Francisco Bay Area emergency management programs have taken to assure the participation and inclusion of people with access and functional needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the history of the Great California Shakeout and its applicability nationally and internationally.
  • Learn how to conduct a local Great Shakeout event that is inclusive of people with disabilities and other access and functional needs.
  • Understand the importance of whole community involvement in planning local community disaster preparedness events.


Mark Benthien is Director for Communication, Education and Outreach for the Southern California Earthquake Center, headquartered at USC. Mark communicates earthquake knowledge to end-users and the general public in order to increase earthquake awareness, reduce economic losses, and save lives. Many of these efforts are in coordination with members of the Earthquake Country Alliance, a private-public partnership of organizations that provide earthquake information and services, for which Mark serves as Executive Director and lead organizer of the annual Great California ShakeOut statewide earthquake drill (more than 10 million participants in 2014). Mark was recognized in 2012 by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for his role in managing the California ShakeOut and supporting the many other states and counties who are now conducting ShakeOut drills.

Shannon Mulhall is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator for the City of Fresno, California. In this capacity she works closely with the Office of Emergency Services on whole community planning. She serves on the Earthquake Country Allicane's committee on Seniors and People with Disabilities.

Dena Gunning, Emergency Management Specialist, serves as the Oakland Fire Department, Emergency Planning Coordinator for the CORE/CERT Program. Dena has served on numerous committees including: Earthquake Country Alliance Public Sector and Steering Committee and Co-Chair, Long Term Recovery Group for the San Bruno Pipeline Explosion. Dena has provided emergency preparedness training and business continuity to community based organizations serving the most vulnerable populations for over twenty-five years.