Helicopter pilot Raymond Gaines leads a military veterans rescue team in the LAFD, including Joby O'Leary. Gaines grudgingly misses out on a weekend with his daughter Blake, who announces being engaged to leading architect Daniel Riddick and moving in with him at San Francisco. After Caltech seismologist Dr. Lawrence Hayes's team spots worrying quake-predicting data, his colleague Dr. Kim Park follows up at the Hoover Dam, where he dies as at breaks down. As Hayes warns on TV, the persisting parameters indicate the whole San Andreas Fault is going to quake as badly, wrecking metropolises LA and San Francisco. Picking up his ex Emma, Gaines abandons his duty to search for Blake, even after her cellphone breaking down suggests her probably already being buried. Luckily for her, she was saved from the subterranean car parking of duly fleeing Riddicks's HQ by applying British architect Ben Taylor, who has a crush on her, encouraged as in all by his dashing kid brother Ollie, so the trio heads for higher ground despite the dim chances of rescue and the likelihood of further collapses, unaware there rescue is on its way.