California Shakeout Drill at CSUSB

By Kara Dement |Staff Writer|

The CSUSB campus shook things up last Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011 when they participated in the Great California Shakeout Drill.

It was the fourth time CSUSB participated in the nationwide drill and it brought awareness to the fact that we need to take precautions about our surroundings and the possibilities of something drastic happening such as an earthquake.

The drill was based on a scenario of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the southern section of the San Andres Fault, and because this is such a realistic threat, it is important to have these drills according to

“The drill’s main focus was not only to test the CSUSB emergency communication system but to also get students, faculty, and staff to become more familiar with the various ways the message will be transferred to you,” said Sid Robinson,  Vice President of Public Affairs.

The drills and communication techniques bring awareness to the emergency systems. If more students activate their text alerts via MyCoyote, more students would be aware of the CSUSB emergency communication system, he said.

A text, email, phone call and an intercom announcement are all different ways that CSUSB gets its message to the students, faculty, and staff, explained Robinson.

According to Robinson, text messages are a more immediate form of getting the information sent out because most people have better access to it.

“With all the years of doing emergency drills in elementary school and throughout high school, I knew automatically what to do when I heard the announcement come over the intercom in the library,” said student Janet Semino. “I even got a text message and phone call for it.”

In years past, the public affairs office used different strategies to get the attention of the students, faculty and staff including safety expos and demonstrations as if an actual earthquake had taken place.

This year however, the public affairs office wanted to take a more technical approach to getting the information on what to do if faced with an emergency.

“I feel like the emergency systems try to better prepare you for emergencies like this one, but when it actually does happen, I think that people will freak out and not know what to do. They’ll be more focused on getting out of a building, office, etc. instead of taking the time to drop, cover and hold on like the emergency systems want you to,” said student Julia Marshall.

As most students will probably feel this way, the public affairs office believes that familiarizing the campus with the CSUSB Emergency Communication System will help bring more awareness as Robinson mentioned earlier.

Within 10 minutes of the California Shakeout Drill at CSUSB the public affairs staff posted information on acting as if there had been an actual earthquake, they updated the site with earthquake-related information every 10 minutes thereafter until around 11 a.m.


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