(Victor Valley) – At 10:20 a.m. on October 20th, millions of Californians will participate in the largest earthquake drill ever! Why? Major earthquakes can and will happen anywhere you work, live, or travel in California. By participating in the 2011 Great California ShakeOut, now a statewide event, residents have an annual opportunity to improve preparedness and practice protective actions.
Megan Blaney with San Bernardino County Fire explained, “The first step would be to go to the shakeout website, get registered, and pledge to participate in the earthquake drill. Then, on October 20th at 10:20am pretend there is a large earthquake happening – drop, cover and hold on.”
Everyone can participate! Individuals, families, businesses, schools, government agencies and organizations are all invited to join in. So far, more than 500,000 San Bernardino County residents, businesses and other participants have registered, and there’s still time to sign up at www.ShakeOut.org.
“Participating in the earthquake drill also gives you a chance look around your home, your office, or your space and make sure things are as safe as they can be. Most of the injuries in an earthquake come from things within the building like picture frames falling off the wall, or your TV that might not be bolted down correctly,” explained Blaney. “Pay special attention to your office – we all have items up high that could come flying across the room in a large shaker. It might be a good time to take down those items and make sure heavy items are bolted down.”
One of the most crucial preparedness steps is to maintain an emergency supplies kit. “We want everyone to be prepared where they live, where they are working, and in their car. Have a disaster kit that involves enough water and food to last for at least a week,” said Blaney.
Other important items to put in an emergency preparedness kit include first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies and special items for medical conditions. There should be enough food and water supplies to sustain you and your family for a minimum of 5-7 days, but it’s best to prepare for two weeks.
“What we really recommend is for people to think about it as if they are going camping, because you don’t have the amenities that you normally would. For example, you wouldn’t have electricity when you are out camping,” said Blaney. “Put a radio in your kit, either battery powered with extra batteries or a hand crank radio, so you can tune into the emergency alert stations and find out what’s going on. Include a flashlight with extra batteries as well.”
Visit www.ShakeOut.org to download helpful family disaster guides, an emergency supply checklist, and tips for food and water storage. Complete emergency kits can also be purchased from the Red Cross. Sign up for emergency alerts via cell phones by visiting sbcfire.org and clicking on the flashing Emergency Alert button.