~Over 8.6 Million Individuals "drop, cover and hold on" for California ShakeOut~
MATHER - The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) today joined more than 8.5 million Californians in the Great California ShakeOut - the nation's largest earthquake preparedness exercise. At 10:20 a.m. registered participants dropped beneath desks, tables and other nearby surfaces, simulating the actions they would take to protect themselves from falling debris during an actual quake.
In Northridge, Cal EMA Acting Secretary Mike Dayton joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Target Corporation for the ShakeOut.
"The Great California ShakeOut is an opportunity for Californians to learn and practice the actions critical to protecting themselves when the ground starts to shake," said Dayton. "Knowing what to do if you are driving, in a theater, a stadium or a retail store as well as at home, at work or at school can mean the difference between life and death."
Acting Secretary Dayton also attended a community collaborative table-top exercise for nonprofit and faith-based organizations sponsored by San Francisco Community Agencies Responding to Disaster (SF Card) as well as a communications drill conducted by the Chinatown Disaster Response Team.
"I commend every Californian who registered for and participated in today's exercise," said Dayton. "I urge those who were unable to participate to conduct a drill of their own and practice 'drop, cover and hold on' periodically throughout the year so that it becomes second nature."
Participation in the Great California ShakeOut, as well as the events in Northridge and San Francisco are among several initiatives taken recently by Cal EMA to enhance preparedness for earthquakes and other emergencies.
Earlier this week, Cal EMA, in partnership with the American Red Cross, released a new video showing viewers how to survive an earthquake and prepare an emergency kit.
On September 30, Cal EMA in cooperation with the Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect; California Department of Education and the California Seismic Safety Commission unveiled an updated Guide and Checklist for Nonstructural Earthquake Hazards in California Schools. The publication provides school administrators with guidance on how to reduce the risk of injury from light fixtures, ceiling systems, furnishings and other objects.
In August, Cal EMA teamed with the Seismic Safety Commission and the California Earthquake Authority to launch "Totally Unprepared," a year-long public education campaign which uses video, social media and mobile applications to help Californians understand the earthquake risk they face and motivate them to prepare.
"Protecting lives, property and the environment is a top priority of Cal EMA," said Dayton. "Even though National Preparedness Month and this year's Great California ShakeOut are over, we are committed to working with our partners in government, the scientific community, volunteers and the private sector to help California become better prepared for the next emergency."
For more information about how you can be better prepared for disaster, visit www.calema.ca.gov