October 19, 2023, will mark the annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake exercise, where millions of Californians, including the Coyotes of California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), will participate in the largest earthquake drill in the state. This event aims to inspire individuals and communities to be prepared for significant earthquakes, ensuring that disasters do not escalate into catastrophes.

The ShakeOut exercise takes place every third Thursday of October, and this year, it’s scheduled for 10:19 a.m. PST. The importance of preparation cannot be understated, as how well we prepare now will determine our ability to survive and recover in the aftermath of a major earthquake.

CSUSB will be among the stakeholders, organizations, and individuals across the state participating in this vital preparedness event. One of the key elements of their participation includes the testing of their Emergency Notification System (ENS), which will send out more than 29,000 text messages and 51,000 email notifications to all contacts within the system.

The exercise encourages everyone to practice recommended earthquake safety actions to protect themselves when they feel shaking or receive an earthquake alert. The fundamental steps are simple but crucial:

  1. DROP: Drop where you are, onto your hands and knees, to avoid being knocked down and enable you to crawl to safety if nearby.
  2. COVER: Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand. If possible, crawl under a sturdy table or desk for shelter. If no shelter is available, move next to an interior wall away from windows.
  3. HOLD ON: Hold on until the shaking stops. If you are under shelter, hold onto it with one hand and be ready to move if necessary. If no shelter is available, hold onto your head and neck with both arms and hands.

CSUSB and other organizations recommend that community members take this opportunity to learn and practice these essential protective actions in various settings, whether indoors, outdoors, in a classroom, or within multi-floor buildings. For more information on earthquake preparedness and safety, individuals and families can visit the CSUSB Emergency Management & Business Continuity website and the official ShakeOut Organization website.

It’s crucial to be aware that old advice, such as “getting in a doorway,” is no longer considered safe during an earthquake. Doorways are not stronger than any other part of a building, and they can be hazardous during the shaking.

The annual ShakeOut event serves as a vital reminder for Californians to be well-prepared for seismic activity and to ensure their safety and the safety of their loved ones during an earthquake. So, as the ShakeOut exercise approaches, Coyotes and all Californians are encouraged to participate actively, get prepared, and remember the life-saving steps: Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Your safety may depend on it.

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