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Get ready to “drop, cover and hold on” on Oct. 20

It’s time to get cozy with your desk.

UCOP staff will join more than 7.9 million Californians on Thursday, Oct. 20 in the largest earthquake drill of the year: The Great California ShakeOut.

At 10:20 a.m., the floor wardens or the public announcement system at UCOP’s buildings will announce an earthquake drill. All employees are asked to practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” for 60 seconds by dropping to the ground, taking cover by getting under a sturdy table or desk and holding on until the shaking stops.

If there isn’t a table or desk anywhere near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

Evacuating your building during or after an earthquake may not be safe. Falling debris or glass can be dangerous, especially if the ground has not stopped shaking or if there are aftershocks. Wait for safety personnel to evaluate whether it’s safe to go outside.

Why is a “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill important? Earthquakes happen anywhere and at anytime in California. When a quake strikes, you may have just seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. The Great California ShakeOut is a chance to practice protecting ourselves, and for everyone to be more prepared so a disaster doesn’t become a catastrophe.

In preparation for Oct. 20 earthquake drill, you should assess the safety of your work space. An inspection checklist will be emailed to UCOP employees. Employees who complete the “Secure Your Space” inspection checklist by Oct. 20 will be entered in a raffle for one of 10 Starbucks or Peet’s gift cards.

From Oct. 17-20, look for a display in the Franklin lobby for additional information on how you can better prepare for an earthquake.

You can also find a wealth of earthquake preparedness information online, including how to develop a disaster plan and create a disaster supply kit. Just go to the “Personal Emergency Preparedness” section of the UCOP Staff Emergency Preparedness webpage. The resources there include helpful information on how you and your family can be prepared at home.

With planning, preparation and practice, we can all be ready for the next “Big One.”

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