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How to Prepare Your Own Shakeout Drill

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Support Provided By
California Earthquake Authority Logo

KCET is collaborating with the California Earthquake Authority to raise awareness and provide resources to help you prepare for an earthquake. California Earthquake Authority is a publicly managed, not-for-profit, privately funded organization that provides residential earthquake insurance and encourages Californians to reduce their risk of earthquake damage and loss.

People new to California may get riled up as the media periodically covers small seismic events or speculates around when the the “Big One” will strike. Ask someone what exactly they’re afraid of and their description invariably sounds like the apocalypse -- being in the wrong place at the wrong time, falling buildings, or collapsed freeways.

Put the same question to a local and a shrug might be his or her reply. Many Southern Californians may be numb to hearing about the "Big One," but it’s real and worth thinking about.

What if a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hits tomorrow?  Would you be ready?

This month millions are getting ready for a seismic natural disaster of historic proportions. At 10:20 a.m. on October 20, 2016, they’ll “drop, cover and hold” as part of a statewide drill. Schools, businesses, and communities across the state will participate in the mock earthquake known as the Great California Shakeout, an annual earthquake drill and education campaign.

“An earthquake can happen any time, any where,” a ShakeOut campaign video states. “You never know.”

You may be prepared for such a scenario at home, but what if you’re at work, church, or school when it happens? Has your community had a conversation about what to do when an earthquake strikes?

The ShakeOut is an excellent opportunity to start or continue that conversation. It’s website offers action-oriented advice and exhaustive earthquake resources. The comprehensive guides are practical and easy to understand. For example, it has information on how to prepare your own ShakeOut drill, offering a step-by-step guide and other resources like flyers and videos. Consider organizing your community around disaster preparedness on October 20.

Follow these steps to hold a ShakeOut drill at your workplace:

Register your event: 

Meet with key people to discuss what your organization’s needs are and how thorough your drill should be. What you plan can be as simple as practicing taking cover during the quake or as advance as conducting a business operations simulation.

Plan and communicate:

Figure out how the drill will be executed and communicate the dos and don’ts of earthquake preparedness. Create awareness by emailing, posting signs, and encouraging others to get involved. Use and share resources from the ShakeOut website.

Execute the earthquake drill:

It really is important to go through the motions of the drill -- you need to actually drop, cover, and hold for 60 seconds. If you’re at a desk, you may find that there are boxes or cables that are preventing you from getting under your desk. Now is the time to address unique challenges to your situation.

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