We develop a generic ground‐motion prediction equation (GMPE) that can be adjusted for use in any region by modifying a few key model parameters. The basis of the GMPE is an equivalent point‐source simulation model whose parameters have been calibrated to empirical data in California, in such a way as to determine the decoupled effects of basic source and attenuation parameters on ground‐motion amplitudes. We formulate the generic GMPE as a function of magnitude, distance, stress parameter, geometrical spreading rate, and anelastic attenuation. This provides a fully adjustable predictive model, allowing users to calibrate its parameters using observed motions in the target region. We also include an empirical calibration factor to account for residual effects that are different from and/or missing in simulations compared to observed motions in the target region. As an example, we show how the generic GMPE can be adjusted for use in central and eastern North America (CENA), and calibrated with the Next Generation Attenuation‐East database. We provide median predictions of ground motions in CENA for average horizontal‐component peak ground motions and 5% damped pseudospectral acceleration (periods up to T=10 s), for magnitudes M 3–8 and distances up to 600 km.