Campus earthquake drill Oct. 21: Drop, Cover, Hold On

Brennan Wasan

Brennan Wasan

GROSSMONT COLLEGE —  On Thursday October 21st, Grossmont college will be participating in the Great California Shake Out, which is a state-wide emergency drill to prepare Californians for an earthquake.

In order to minimize disruption to classes on Thursday, the drill will occur at 10:30 am- at the end of most classses, according to a campus-wide circular from President Sunny Cooke and other administrators.

In this drill, instructors are to lead students and visitors in finding cover during an earthquake.  They also should point out evacuation routes to their class’s designated evacuation area.

The campus fire alarm will begin sounding at 10:30 a.m. and continue for a duration of one full minute.  At this time students and faculty are expected to practice the  “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” technique for earthquake safety.   As explained by California safety officials, this procedure is as follows:

1. Drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)

2. Take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table,

3.  Hold on to the table or desk until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against the interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances, and cabinets with heavy objects or glass.

If you use a wheelchair or have other mobility impairments and cannot drop, cover and hold on, protect your head and neck with a pillow or your arms, and bend over to protect yourself if you are able. Do not go outside!

If you are outside, move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards but only if you can safely do so. Otherwise, stay where you are and drop, cover or hold on or protect your head and neck as best possible.

If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

In a stadium or theater: Stay at your seat and protect your head and neck with your arms. Don’t try to leave until the shaking is over. Then evacuate slowly watching for anything that could fall in the aftershocks.

What not to do:

Do not get in a doorway! An early earthquake image of California is a collapsed adobe home with the door frame as the only standing part. From this came our belief that a doorway is the safest place to be during an earthquake. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer, and they do not protect you from flying or falling objects. Get under a table instead!

Do not run outside! Trying to run in an earthquake is dangerous, as the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by debris or glass. Running outside is especially dangerous, as glass, bricks, or other building components may be falling. You are much safer to stay inside and get under a table.

The Great California Shake Out will be practiced all over the state on Thursday October 21st, 2010, promptly at 10:30am.

Brennan is a student in Media Comm 132