Earthquake simulator mimics feel of an 8.0 magnitude quake

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VISTA, Calif. — An earthquake simulator in North County is giving people the real feel of an earthquake.

“The Big Shaker” is the largest mobile earthquake simulator in the world. Created by Ready America, the simulator — which operates inside a trailer — can reproduce earthquake magnitudes up to 8.0.

FOX 5 got the chance to test the simulator after recent earthquakes struck Southern California in early July. The trailer, which is designed to look like a living room, shakes violently as it would during a real earthquake. Cups, glasses and toys fall from the shelves. A table sits near one of the trailer walls, available for visitors to use as they duck and cover.

Jeff Primes with Ready America said when an earthquake hits, it’s much too late to make a dash to a local market for supplies. He recommends people be proactive by securing home furniture with straps and making sure they have an earthquake kit — comprised of water, nonperishable food, a flashlight and a first-aid kit — ready.

“The earthquakes that we’ve seen in Ridgecrest should be a good reminder that we need to be prepared,” Primes said.

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