Today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) joined local, state and federal partners to remind Californians about the importance of earthquake preparedness with the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On on the campus of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles.
At the event in Compton, students and staff participated in a drill at 10:21 a.m., demonstrating the right technique of finding a safe place to wait out an earthquake.
“Thank you to all who are here today from the city, state, and federal level for coming to the CDU campus here in the Compton and Watts area,” said Dr. Delia Santana, Acting Dean of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. “CDU’s commitment to the health of the community includes earthquake preparedness. This means participating today in the Great California ShakeOut.”
In addition, ShakeOut event organizers touted the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, which outline ways in which Californians can be prepared in advance of the next big quake, in addition to surviving and recovering from one.
“California is known for earthquakes large and small. It’s important to hold events like the Great ShakeOut Drill in the community to remind Californians to be prepared in advance of the next one. We thank Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science for their collaboration and spreading the word on preparedness,” said Director of Cal OES Mark Ghilarducci.
California’s earthquake warning system, known as Earthquake Warning California, uses the latest technology, including smartphone applications and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), to provide individuals with an earthquake warning as soon as shaking is detected by ground motion monitoring.
“The California Geological Survey, Cal OES, and other organizations have information online about how to be ready for an earthquake. It’s critical to have food, water, medicine, and a family plan. But in a large enough quake, the most important thing is to survive the initial severe shaking, and that’s where practicing the drop, cover, and hold on drill is so very important,” said Acting State Geologist Dr. Steve Bohlen, head of California Geological Survey.
As part of Earthquake Warning California, the MyShake app is a free earthquake warning tool available in the Apple App store and Google Play to provide individuals a few precious seconds to take life-saving actions such as to drop, cover, and hold on before shaking occurs. The MyShake app, which has more than 1 million downloads since it was publicly launched in 2019, sends a warning to smartphone users in the nearby area that have installed the app as soon as seismic waves are detected and the data is processed.
“We have come a long way since ShakeOut began in 2008,” said Mark Benthien, Global ShakeOut Coordinator and Outreach Director for the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. “More people have not only been practicing earthquake safety, but also securing furniture and objects around them, discussing safety plans, and even retrofitting their homes. For 2021, they are also adapting their drill plans to be remote, in-person, or both.”
Last summer, Cal OES also announced a partnership with Google that includes Earthquake Early Warning technology as a feature included in millions of new Android phones and via software updates in existing Android phones used in California.
This event in California was one of many around the globe. More than 24 million people around the world participated in ShakeOut, including 14 million people from the United States and its territories.