Are You Ready for the Big One?

Being located in San Francisco, I figured it was time to create a diagram about what to do if one strikes… OK, most Are You Ready for the Big One? Most of us who live here rarely think about earthquakes. But my girlfriend was always reminding me about the death trap that used to be our office. So together we came up with this diagram:


Most of the information for this was gathered at and some based off of what we already know from all the earthquake exhibits that we've gone to. (The main takeaway from those: Don't be inside unreinforced masonry.)

In designing the diagram, I wanted to somehow incorporate the topic into how the diagram looks. So I experimented with making the shapes look like they are shaking by layering them and picking colors for them that make them look like they are fading.

When filling out the content, I noticed that some steps were too wordy. To solve this, I made callouts that look like something an app might use to help a user. I assembled them using different shapes in that I collected in groups, then copy and pasting them. This was an easy way to build up a reusable shape.

I hope you find this diagram informative and that it also gives you some ideas about how to draw up your own diagrams.