By Jocelyn Colbert |Staff Writer|
Millions of Californians statewide dropped to the ground last Thursday for “The Great California ShakeOut,” the earthquake preparedness drill.
At 10:18 a.m. in coordination with the date Oct. 18, people across Southern California “ducked and covered.” Together everyone braced for a mock 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
The Great ShakeOut is the world’s largest earthquake preparedness drill meant to get people ready for the big one. The purpose of the ShakeOut is to encourage people and organizations to be prepared to survive and recover when the next big earthquake happens.
This practice drill was once a regional event that began five years ago and is now an annual event. Metrolink, schools and retail stores all took part.
“Every earthquake that our subway has been in, they’ve (Metrolink trains) come through with flying colors,” said Metrolink Chairman Richard Katz, quoted to ABC7 News.
“We have covered as much as we can cover, knowing that earthquakes and Mother Nature have more variables than we can plan for, but we feel very confident that we have a very good, safe system.”
Local leaders stressed the importance of not being complacent. “Hope doesn’t save lives – preparation does,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last Thursday morning, quoted to ABC7 News.
During a quake, emergency officials want you to drop to the ground, cover your head and neck and hold on to something sturdy.
“We’ve had people die from trying to run during earthquakes and being thrown. And so, the first thing we say is drop. Get down to the ground because the Earth’s going to put you there anyway,” said Lucy Jones with the U.S. Geological Survey.
Chris Nance with the California Earthquake Authority emphasized that all components are necessary to be prepared including emergency supplies, safety kits as well as practicing to drop, cover and hold on.
Multiple earthquake kits are needed in case of emergency. Kits should be placed in your car and home, so when disaster strikes chances are you will be near one or the other.
Faculty, staff and students on campus have automatically been enrolled to receive emergency messages, but you need to add your cellular phone information to receive text and voice messages on your mobile device. There is no charge for this service, but calls and text messaging fees from your cellular phone service providers apply.
CSUSB is urging all to update your contact information via MyCoyote and opt-in to the voice and text message options. This means adding or updating your mobile phone number. This will assure that you receive all messages during an actual emergency.
With this and our other quarterly drills, you will receive a pre-recorded message on your registered contact telephones, including your cellular phone. In addition, you’ll receive a text message on your cellular phone and an e-mail alert to your CSUSB e-mail account.
Southern Calif. has not experienced a seismic disaster since the 1994 Northridge quake, which killed 72 people and caused $25 billion in damage to the Los Angeles region.
Geologists are all saying that we are due for the next big quake. Be prepared CSUSB.