Earthquake simulator will shake up Juneau

Earthquake Simulator
(Photo courtesy Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management)

Juneau will get some emergency preparedness practice at an event that promises to shake, rattle and roll.

Alaska’s earthquake simulator, which replicates the intensity of large earthquakes, is visiting downtown Juneau from Wednesday to Thursday.

The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Juneau Local Emergency Planning Committee is hosting the event to raise public awareness and safety preparation of Alaska residents.

Michelle Brown, a member of the Emergency Planning Committee, explained what users will experience during the simulation.

“When you enter the simulator you’ll sit down; there’s four seats, so four people can enter and experience it at the same time,” she said. “There’ll be a big screen in front of them. They’ll shut the door and they’ll start the action: The simulator goes up-and-down and back-and-forth and helps you understand that you’re not just going to be able to run in a really big earthquake. So you will really be able to experience that. And at the same time the big screen on front helps augment that, accentuate that as well.”

What: Earthquake simulator, booths, presentations and refreshments

When:  11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 31, and Thursday, Sept. 1

Where: Outside the Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, 395 Whittier St., and KTOO at 360 Egan Drive

Simulator rides and other attractions are free. The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Juneau Local Emergency Planning Committee put the event together.

Riders will experience about 25 seconds which can happen in a 6.0-9.0 magnitude earthquake. The simulator duration is common with earthquakes around a 7-7.5 magnitude.

“It is like a full experience of your senses,” Brown said. “Both touch and feel and see. And so it’s an interesting way to learn.”

The simulator, a fire safety house and a disaster mobile kitchen will be available to experience for free 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. The event will feature booths, presentations and free hot dogs and drinks, provided by the disaster kitchen.

“(It’s) A very, very great asset for Juneau,” Brown said. “We’ve never had one before, but if we were ever to have a disaster that separates the community or we‘ve had to set up a large shelter, (then) this kitchen is a commercial kitchen that can actually go to the event where people are so that they can feed and even still provide hot meals.”

From Juneau, the simulator will continue a southeast Alaska tour to Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, Craig and Haines.

For information, contact Michelle Brown at 586-0371 or email her at

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