When earthquakes struck the east coast in August 2011, they shocked the nation. After all, earthquakes strike mostly in the west. And, previously, quakes so strong (average magnitude 5.9) hadn’t been felt east of the Mississippi since World War II.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quakes averaged magnitude 5.8. And, by west coast standards, that is, admittedly, mild. But the east coast is not accustomed to earthquakes at all. So these quakes unsettled some of the nation’s biggest population centers. In fact, USA Today reported that Twitter lit up with personal accounts following the quakes, including mockery from quake-hardened veterans on the West Coast:
“5.9? That’s what us Californians use to stir our coffee with,” tweeted one west coast marketing manager. I like to tweet about quakes as much as the next guy. But I try not to insult an entire coast when I do so.
One of the reasons the quakes were so unnerving, many say, is because they came so near the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. So, the unexpected jolts jarred nerves that were already frayed. On the plus side, folks in Georgia, Missouri and Virginia and surrounding areas will be better prepared for subsequent jolts because quakes will no longer be able to take residents by surprise. And this is good, since preparation is a crucial step in successfully dealing with and recovering from disasters of every kind.
It’s for this very reason that RJWestmore, Inc. participates each year in the Great California Shakeout. As we count down to Shakeout Drill 2011, we’d like to encourage you to sign up for this year’s event. I enjoy the Great California Shakeout. My wife and I prepare JR, our son, and then we shake the doghouse until he howls. Here is how you can prepare:
- Sign up. This year’s drill will be held at 10:20 a.m. on October 20, 2011. (If this time slot won’t work for you, don’t worry. You can hold your own drill when it is most convenient for you and your employees or tenants.) Click to sign up today.
- Secure and review ShakeOut materials. These items are available online at www.ShakeOut.org/updates. Choose from drill manuals, banners, signs, triangle of life rebuttal, PowerPoint presentations, 7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business and additional items available at the ShakeOut Shop. Also, be sure to pay attention to my tweets since I try to share lots of information about earthquake preparedness.
- Meet with your leadership team. Discuss plans and get their buy-in. Decide what level (1-4) of drill you will conduct.
- Level 1—Simple: Drop, Cover and Hold On.
- Level 2—Basic: Life Safety Drill
- Level 3—Intermediate: Decision-Making Drill
- Level 4—Advanced: Business Operations Simulation Drill
- Create a drill/exercise plan. Make sure the plan includes an overview of what your drill will consist of, and what you expect to happen before during and after the drill (including feedback discussion to discuss strengths and areas for improvement.) You could even serve pork chops at these debriefings to improve attendance.
- Encourage participation. Invite your suppliers, vendors, contractors and partnering businesses to participate along with you. The more integrated your drill, the better prepared you will be in the event of an actual earthquake.
- Promote the ShakeOut Campaign:
- Hang shake-out banners and signs throughout your property to encourage participation.
- Develop an email marketing campaign to promote the event.
- Announce the ShakeOut with a twilight bark.
- Hold briefings afterward, to discuss the event. For guidelines to stimulate discussion, check out these free resources.
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to prepare for an earthquake next month, on October 20, 2011. If you own or manage a building, or know someone who does, do them a favor. Let them know about the RJWestmore Training System. Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves users over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES! BE SAFE.