The Great California ShakeOut in October 2012 involved over 9.4 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).
This year, Farmdale Elementary will participate in The 2013 Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill at 9:30 a.m. on October 17. The drill will reinact a 7.8 earthquake hitting Los Angeles. This scenario will include damaged buildings, fallen trees and exposed electrical wires. Emergency preparedness will include teachers and staff going through communication, search and rescue, and emergency scenarios with the students. Parents can get involved by going to the request gate at the end of the cul-de-sac and making sure communications run smoothly there.
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. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event.
The 2013 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in world history. To participate, 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, visit www.ShakeOut.org/california.