Malibu's 2018 Earthquake Resiliency Initiative

The goal of Malibu's Earthquake Resiliency Initiative is to increase the community’s ability to respond and recover to a large earthquake, which will lead to reduced casualties and damage, and a shorter recovery period.

The City of Malibu’s Earthquake Resiliency Initiative will include creating an inventory of soft-story buildings and identifying incentives for property owners to improve the seismic safety of these buildings as well as other vulnerable structures. Soft-story buildings have first stories that are less rigid than the stories above and are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage because of large, unreinforced openings on their ground floors. These openings often accommodate parking spaces, large windows, and expansive lobbies in residential and retail buildings. In the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the bottom floor of the Northridge Meadows apartment complex – which was a soft-story building – collapsed, killing 16 residents on the first floor.

Throughout the year, the City will also conduct public education, work to reduce non-structural earthquake hazards, update emergency plans, conduct Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, identify vulnerabilities in critical City functions, and develop continuity of government strategies.

Preparedness Guides and Resources

  1. General
  2. Pets
  3. Business Owners
  4. Disabled and Senior Citizens

Earthquake preparedness workshop

On June 27, 2018 at City Hall, workshop participants learned about the earthquake threat in Malibu, what to expect from the City and first responders, and how they can prepare themselves and their families. Participants age 55 and older received a free comprehensive emergency kit in a wheeled travel backpack. The workshop and emergency kits were part of the City’s ongoing efforts to increase public safety and disaster preparedness in the community, and are part of the City’s 2018 Earthquake Resiliency Initiative. The kits were funded by Los Angeles Community Development Commission / Community Development Block Grants. 


The City's Public Safety Town Hall Meeting on January 24, 2018 provided information on the earthquake threat specific to Malibu and how to be prepared for a major earthquake. View the full presentation by Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas and City Geologist Chris Dean in the video below or download and read a PDF version.


Dr. Lucy Jones, one of the world’s foremost experts on earthquakes, gave a presentation on earthquake risk and preparedness specific to Malibu to help kick off the City’s year-long Earthquake Resiliency Initiative during the Malibu City Council meeting on January 10, 2018.