Drop! Cover! Hold On! Great California ShakeOut 10-18 at 10:18 a.m.
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: October 17, 2012
The Great ShakeOut will send millions of Californians under tables for shelter Thursday when on 10-18 at exactly 10:18 a.m. the largest emergency drill in the nation gets underway.
Assistant Fire Chief Kevin Fildes told the City Council at the October 1 meeting that what people do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what their lives will be like afterwards.
With 37 million people living and working in California, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. With earthquakes an inevitable part of California’s future, residents must act quickly to ensure disasters do not become catastrophes.
Last year’s Great California ShakeOut involved more than 8.6 million Californians through a broad-based outreach program, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. The drill is now held statewide annually on the third Thursday of October, and is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance (www.earthquakecountry.org).
The 2012 Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill will be at 10:18 a.m. on October 18. Area residents are lucky to have their own emergency spot on the radio dial, AM 1610, the Ready Santa Paula station.
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. Not just any drill will accomplish this - it needs to be big: in Santa Paula the city as well as area schools will be taking part in the drill, as will local businesses and individuals.
The 2012 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in U.S. history. To participate, go to www.ShakeOut.org/california/register and pledge your 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,” said SPFD Captain Steve Lazenby, the city’s Emergency Preparedness expert. “After all, it’s not if an earthquake is going to hit, but when.”
For more information, visit www.ShakeOut.org/california