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University prepares for next shake

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Victor Gomez, customer service team lead for The Gas Company explains to University Advance­ment Office Manager Renee Heckenlaible when or when not to shut off your gas line at home in an emergency. University Evacuation Team Leaders attended the Great California Shake Out in the Campus Center Oct. 16. Gomez demonstrated with a wrench how to shut off a line, but warned that it could take a long time to regain hot water and other comforts. / photo by Helen Arase

Victor Gomez, customer service team lead for The Gas Company explains to University Advance­ment Office Manager Renee Heckenlaible when or when not to shut off your gas line at home in an emergency. University Evacuation Team Leaders attended the Great California Shake Out in the Campus Center Oct. 16. Gomez demonstrated with a wrench how to shut off a line, but warned that it could take a long time to regain hot water and other comforts. / photo by Helen Arase

Melissa Gasia
Staff Writer

The University participated in the annual statewide earthquake drill “The Great California Shake Out” at exactly 10:16 a.m. on Oct. 16 to encourage everyone to prepare for the “big one.”

At 10:16 a.m., students, faculty and staff had to practice the “drop, cover and hold on” during their class hours or faculty meetings.

This concept refers to how everyone should “drop” to the ground once they feel an earthquake, “cover” their heads while seeking for a nearby table to go under to and “hold on” at a secured spot until the shaking stops.

Campus Safety and Risk Management also presented a California Shakeout Disaster fair in the Campus Center.

Jeff Boster, emergency manager of Campus Safety, coordinated the event and invited organizations – including Cintas, the facilities department, American Technologies Inc., Associated Students of University of La Verne, Disaster Survival Skills, Sempra Energy utility, – to inform and capture more awareness on campus on what to do after the shakeout.

“It’s all about preparedness, response and recovery. This is to showcase what we’ve done to reassure that the students are safe,” Boster said.

There were safety equipment demonstrations. Lead Campus Safety Officer Laura Avalos taught students and visitors how to use a fire extinguisher and rated how long it took them to put out the pretend fire on a digital screen.

Owner of Survival Disaster Skills and retired firefighter Captain Wayne Bennett and was selling emergency survival kits. These grab-and-go kits contain first aid items, food bars and water pouches that do not expire up to five years.

“We’re going to have an earthquake,” retired firemen Captain Wayne Bennett said. “This is going to happen probably within the next five years. There is a 90 percent chance that this will happen because we are way overdue for this earthquake.”

A group of officials of the University – president, incident commander, operations section coordinator, planning section coordinator, logistics section coordinator, student care coordinator and finance section coordinator – acted as if there was a real disaster and met at the Emergency Operations Center.

They talked about the “what ifs” – What if the football field was taken out, where should everybody go? – and created a plan for when real disaster strikes.

The Athletic Training Club demonstrated basic skills such as what to do with an arm or leg splint. They showed how to fold and knot a cloth to wrap around different parts of the body to prevent injured body part from moving and further getting damaged.

“It’s important to learn these because when an earthquake happens, anything can happen to injure the upper body and you want to prevent any of that,” junior athletic training major Celiana Vargas Guerra said.

Melissa Gasia can be reached at melissa.gasia@laverne.edu.

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