The theme of many of our blogs is: “Are you prepared?” The reason for our keen focus on preparation is because history has shown us that the unpredictable will happen, and it probably won’t come with much advance warning. All we can do is prepare and plan. Proper planning before an earthquake can result in dramatic prevention of loss of life or property.
The Great California ShakeOut is an annual event that promotes earthquake preparedness for Californians. This year’s event is scheduled for October 21st, at 10:21 a.m. However, business and homeowners are encouraged to schedule events of their own, if timing of the official event is inconvenient.
So far, 6.5 million people and counting have registered to participate in this month’s ShakeOut. And there is still time to sign up. Encourage your team members and tenants to register and support this important event. The event is sharable via Facebook and Twitter, so encourage other business owners or managers to participate.
The scenarios and drills used in the ShakeOut are based on data from a hypothetical 7.8 magnitude quake on the San Andreas Fault. Results of the scenario are available in both a 24-page version and the full scientific 312-page version, courtesy of the USGS. You very likely won’t have time to read all 312 pages. But there is still much to glean from the main points of the exercise.
A free ShakeOut manual for business owners and managers provides suggestions for conducting drills to practice earthquake preparedness:
- Drills cover, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” and other training that tenants can utilize in order to stay safe during a shaker.
- The manual encourages actual interaction and discussion between tenants and drill organizers. Try to get people who actually work in the building to talk about earthquake safety. You might try to get some suggestions for improving evacuation routes or supplementing a shortage of emergency kits.
- Go viral! Owners can share photos and stories from this year’s drill at www.ShakeOut.org
- Advanced drills are detailed, including a “Business Operations Simulation Drill,” which can test your company’s ability to manage a disaster. The drill asks businesses to learn through simulations that involve problems such as loss of electricity, lack of cell phone service, or blocked emergency exits. Advanced drills are intended to mirror real earthquake emergencies.
Another component to the ShakeOut is “Secure Your Space.” This initiative covers not only how unsecured filing cabinets and picture frames can turn into hazards, but also why it’s necessary to retrofit buildings and adhere to proper codes
Similar to our last blog, which covered “Fire Prevention Week”, this post about the Great Shakeout is a good opportunity to raise immediate awareness about the subject. But real safety preparedness and planning involves more than information that can be covered in a single day. It’s great to promote awareness initiatives like the Shakeout to increase tenants’ exposure to safety issues, but be sure to have frequent refresher sessions and reminders about lessons learned. Knowledge about safety is useless it’s put into practice. So make sure proper procedures are followed.
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.