Getting ready for the big one: Drill to prepare Californians for earthquakes


Students complete assignments in the Schauerman Library’s East Reading Room on Tuesday, Oct. 8. If students are inside a classroom during an earthquake, they are recommended to take cover underneath a sturdy desk or table. Fernando Haro/The Union

El Camino College will join more than 10 million Californians in the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, a statewide earthquake preparation initiative, on Thursday, Oct. 17.

The drill will offer the opportunity to become better prepared for earthquakes, save lives and prevent natural disasters from becoming a catastrophe, according to an email sent out by ECC.

“This is to promote awareness [for] what to do when the ground starts shaking, the buildings are swaying, maybe tiles are falling,” El Camino College Police Chief Michael Trevis said.

The drill is supposed to get people in the habit of having a plan in the event of an earthquake, having situational awareness and knowing where emergency exits are located inside, Trevis said.

The drill will last approximately three minutes as a siren will signal for when buildings need to be evacuated and faculty will simulate checking for anyone injured inside buildings, Trevis said.

Earlier this year in July, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook an area near Ridgecrest, California, turning out to be the largest earthquake in Southern California since 1999, according to the Los Angeles Times.

An earthquake along the San Andreas fault, which runs through California just north of Los Angeles, has been overdue for over 60 years as the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed in 2017 that the fault experiences a major temblor once every 100 years on average, according to the Los Angeles Times. Over 160 years have passed since its last major earthquake.

More information about the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill and earthquake preparedness tips are available here.