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Great ShakeOut this Thursday, Oct. 16: Drop, cover and hold on

The Great California Shakeout graphicWhether or not you felt the South Napa quake in August, the 6.0 temblor was the strongest to hit the Bay Area since Loma Prieta in 1989 and a dramatic reminder that we do live in earthquake country. Are you prepared?

Getting prepared is the purpose of the Great California ShakeOut, which UCOP will join this Thursday, Oct. 16. At 10:16 a.m. you’ll hear the drill announced, and everyone should drop, cover and hold on for 60 seconds: Drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and hold on until the shaking stops.

The shaking may only be imaginary, but using your imagination for the drill will help you prepare for what you should do in an actual earthquake at home or at work. If there isn’t a table or desk nearby, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

Why is a “drop, cover and hold on” drill important? Because reacting quickly during an emergency requires practice, and you may have only seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down or something falls on you. The ShakeOut is our chance to practice and prepare so we can be ready when an earthquake strikes.

In preparation for the drill, you can assess the safety of your workspace by conducting an inspection of your work area using the Be Smart about Safety secure space checklist.

You should also think about your preparedness at home to ensure that you and your family will be protected and self-sufficient for at least 72 hours following a large quake. For more preparedness information, including identifying earthquake hazards, developing a disaster plan and creating a disaster supply kit, go to the personal preparedness section of the UCOP Staff Emergency Preparedness webpage. Discounted emergency kits are available for purchase online.

Sign up for UCOPAlert now

If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to sign up for UCOPAlert, OP’s off-hours emergency notification system. The system delivers notifications to your home phone, personal cell phone or email outside normal business hours. If you sign up, you’ll get alerts about building closures, transit problems and other situations that may affect your ability to come to work.

You can find complete instructions for how to sign up for the alerts on the UCOPAlert webpage. Registering is entirely voluntary but strongly encouraged so you can stay abreast of emergencies.

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