Natural disaster awareness

By Camillia Dababneh |Staff Writer|


Student Tiana Watson practices taking cover under a desk during a simulated earthquake. | Photo by Emmanuel Gutierrez

“Students should take steps before a disaster hits and prepare emergency kits,” stated Rick Blackburn, CSUSB Emergency Manager.

Emergency preparedness is important to plan and prepare the campus community for potential disasters.

“Emergency Management develops plans and protocols to facilitate a better response by the campus community to disasters/emergencies,” stated Blackburn.

There are plenty of disasters that can happen throughout the world; the problem is, they’re always unexpected.

“Natural Disasters are a surprise, you never know when it’s coming, ” said alumnus David Gomez. “Being prepared decides if you are either a survivor or victim.”

Some natural disasters that can happen around our area are fires, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, extreme wind conditions, and hazardous spills, which come with potential threats to everybody that is in close range.

These threats include injuries, death, car damage, damage to homes, damage to electrical wires, upon many other things.

Many students may agree they would have no knowledge on what to do if a disaster occurs.

“I don’t think I would have the means necessary for me and my family to survive,” said student Jackie Duran. “I do not have an emergency plan or a supply kit ready to use for such disasters.”

Luckily, CSUSB does have precautions in dealing with disasters.

We have a comprehensive emergency management program, campus emergency notification system, outside partnerships and resources, and building and floor marshall programs.

“I would be willing to take classes in order to prepare for a disaster and to inform myself on what is the most efficient ways to prepare for such event,” said Duran.

The campus’ safety programs will provide useful knowledge for students and faculty, and with all the programs available it should be simple enough to receive the information on how to prepare yourself.

“The campus has prepared and publicized several emergency management publications including the CSUSB Disaster Preparedness Quick Reference Guide, which provide guidance on what students should do during disasters such as earthquakes or floods,” stated Blackburn.

These publications hang on classroom and office walls throughout the campus, the CSUSB website, and mobile app.

The campus also provides building evacuation teams that have over 75 staff and faculties.

The exercises and drills provided through CSUSB include evacuation drills, the emergency operations center exercise, the great shake out, and the active shooter exercise.

All these exercises are knowledge-based, but there are material things that should be considered as well.

“Some basic items should include: a first aid kit, water, food (snacks), flashlight, gloves, extra shoes, and extra medications,” stated Blackburn.

The truth is, everyone should get prepared, but some people think these things are less likely to happen in their lifetime.

“I want to be prepared, but it’s hard to be prepared when nobody seems to believe in it,” said student Christian Chavez.

“Students understand that the more prepared they are before a disaster strikes the better off they will be to deal with and recover from a disaster,” stated Blackburn.

Whether at home or at school, natural disaster preparedness can save you from being helpless if and when tragedy strikes.



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