City of Redlands readies for the Fifth annual California ShakeOut
Following FEMA’s “National Preparedness Month” in September, individuals and communities throughout the Inland Empire will participate in the fifth annual Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill.
Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand
- If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
- If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
- Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
- HOLD ON until shaking stops
- Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
- No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
Last month’s devastating 8.2 magnitude earthquake off Mexico’s southern coast serves as a reminder that large earthquakes can occur with little to no warning. Southern California has several active earthquake faults. In the past week alone, more than 20 earthquakes have been recorded in the Redlands area and experts warn that the region is overdue for a major quake.
The City of Redlands will join millions of Californians on Oct. 19 in increasing our awareness and readiness for a major earthquake. At 10:19 a.m. all City departments at the Redlands Civic Center, Police Annex and other facilities will be evacuated. Customers doing business at that time will be advised of the evacuation and directed where to go. The inconvenience will be minor and will last only a few minutes.
Emergency responders will review procedures and communications protocols along with volunteers from the Redlands Emergency Communication Group and the City will activate emergency communications as part of the Emergency Operations Center on Park Avenue to ensure that first responders will receive EOC activation notices in a timely manner.
A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe and to learn what plans need to be improved.
To participate in this year’s ShakeOut go to www.shakeout.org/california/register/ and pledge your family, school, business or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants register (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice “drop, cover, and hold on” at the specified time. It is only a five-minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
For more information on the Great California ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org/california/.