Last Update: Thursday, November 28, 2013
|Whole Lotta ShakeOut Going On|
|Written by Mike Terry Sun Contributing Writer|
|Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:16|
Schools And Various Agencies Practice Annual State Earthquake Preparedness Drills
M Terry / SFVS
Being Prepared - San Fernando High assistant principal Jeremy Lawrence displays the emergency supplies kept on campus in case of an emergency. San Fernando High is among schools and agencies throughout the state taking part in earthquake preparedness drills on Thursday, Oct. 17.
Today, Oct. 17, many parts of California will be thrown into chaos between 9-11 a.m.
Relax, it's (hopefully) not a real emergency. It's practicing how to react in case something like a major earthquake hits the state.
Every third Thursday in October the Great California Shake- Out takes place, a designated day where schools, and public and private agencies schedule and go through drills on what to do in case such an emergency occurs.
Many drills take place beginning at 10:17 a.m. But not everyone has to adhere to that designated time.
At San Fernando High School, students and faculty will start their drill around 9:20 a.m. to minimize lost class time but still meet the state and school district requirements that such a drill take place.
Assistant Principal Jeremy Lawrence said when the signal is given at 9:20 a.m., students and faculty will drop to the floor, roll under desks and tables, and stay undercover until another signal is given to initiate the next phase of the exercise.
All persons on campus will then evacuate the school buildings, and meet in designated areas where roll will be taken.
In addition, Lawrence said, several designated students will remain in buildings to be "found" by faculty practicing search-and-rescue-drills.
"Each year it gives us an opportunity to have the discussion with the kids about earthquake preparedness, so they can be prepared if it takes place at or near the school," Lawrence said.
"We are required to do earthquake drill every year, and follow up with fire drills and other school safety drills on a monthly basis."
Lawrence said the school drill should take an estimated 40 minutes, and begins near the end of first Period One. At the conclusion, students would be dismissed for nutrition.
Schools won't be the only local participants.
San Fernando police Lt. Nichole Hanchett said various city government and private agencies would have drills beginning at 10:17 a.m.
"We will have a standardized drill within all city buildings that includes the drop, cover and hold on, then meet at designated spots and do a roll call so all persons are accounted for and have an assessment of how the drill went," Hanchett said.
The lieutenant said the drill should take about a half hour, and that regular police operations would not be interrupted "since it not a true emergency."
"This gives us an opportunity to refine our earthquake preparedness and to discuss realistically what to expect in a true earthquake to insure we are prepared," Hanchett said.
According to the Great California ShakeOut website, an estimated 9.4 million persons are expected to stop what they are doing at 10:17 a.m., and drop, cover, and hold that position as if an actual earthquake were occurring for at least 60 seconds.
That is the basic drill for participants.
Among those agencies not participating is the U.S. Geological Society (USGS). The federal government shutdown 30 seismologists and disaster experts from the USGS offices in Pasadena from being a part of the drills.
In addition there are no freeway closures, power outages, or other simulated effects of the hypothetical earthquake, unless you have received notification of such activity from your local government officials or a utility company.
The purpose of the drills are to teach both children and adults how to survive and protect themselves from falling debris, as well as the importance of maintaining calm and control. Fatalities and injuries can occur in greater numbers due to panicky reactions and mindless running around when shaking begins.
One reason the drills will continue year on every third Thursday in October: a 2007 study organized by the Southern California Earthquake Center, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the California Geological Survey, claims there is 99.7 percent chance the state can have a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake during the next 30 years. The chance of an even more powerful quake of magnitude 7.5 or greater in the next 30 years is 46 percent.
A quake of that potential destructive force is more likely to occur in the southern half of the state (37 percent chance in 30 years) than in the northern half (15 percent chance in 30 years).
|Last Updated on Thursday, 17 October 2013 02:19|