Response to imaginary quake brings real safety

October 23, 2013 by  

People in Northridge, along with millions throughout California, played their parts in response to an earthquake last Thursday, even though it never actually occurred.

The “earthquake” in question was an imaginary one and was scheduled as a drill. October 17 at 10:17 am was when the West Coast of the United States played its role in what was dubbed ‘The Great Shake Out’ – an idea originating in California in 2008.

This worldwide drill started the day before in Guam and traveled the globe. An estimated 15 million people participated in other earthquake-prone areas of the world while here in California 9.5 million signed up to take part in it.

The drill had two objectives: to educate and provide practice for individuals and to give emergency responders and civic authorities hands a chance to rehearse and fine-tune their earthquake response plans. More than 900 firefighters at 106 fire stations in the Los Angeles surveyed their districts.

Meanwhile, schoolchildren were doing their part as well. For example, students at Rosemont Avenue Elementary were given one of two roles to play. Some students took refuge under their desks while others played the part of those who did not take shelter and were injured. Firefighters arrived at the school and performed triage on the “injured”, using red, yellow, and green mats to show the severity of their injuries.

Although practice is vital, the first step in earthquake preparedness is information. For this, brochure printers are often instrumental in dispensing information on how to survive an earthquake.