Great ShakeOut rolls through town Thursday

Matthew Hall
Daily Press Editor

Several Santa Monica institutions are preparing to participate in the Great California ShakeOut this Thursday, Oct. 19, at 10:19 a.m.

The statewide event is an opportunity to practice how to stay safer when the ground shakes and develop plans or procedures for an emergency situation.

The annual drill is sponsored by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).
“California is earthquake country,” said Glenn Pomeroy, CEO of the CEA.

“We need to ask ourselves whether we’re prepared to survive and recover when the next damaging earthquake strikes—and if we aren’t, we need to take action now to change that.”

CEA, a sponsor of the drill, will participate at its office in Sacramento and will also have representatives at ShakeOut events in Los Angeles and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Taking the proper actions during an earthquake can save lives and reduce the risk of injury,” said Pomeroy.

“ShakeOut is a perfect opportunity to practice—and to review other aspects of emergency plans and financial preparations to ensure you’re ready for the unexpected.”

The event is the world’s largest earthquake drill and takes place the third Thursday of October each year in houses, schools, businesses and many public spaces.

Last year, more than 10.6 million Californians participated, and more than 55 million people participated worldwide.

Locally all Santa Monica public schools will participate with an evacuation drill at 10:19 a.m.
Following the evacuation, the district will open its Emergency Operations Center at the District Office and coordinate with each school site.

Staff will be assigned jobs related to an emergency and the district will communicate with other civic organizations engaged in the drill.

“We take this and all drills on our campuses very seriously so ensure our students and staff are as safe as possible and also to practice responding to an actual earthquake where we may need medical attention and other supports to minimize injuries or loss of life,” said SMMUSD spokeswoman Gail Pinsker.

At Santa Monica College, all classes will practice their drop and cover drills followed by practice evacuations of all classes.

SMC Police Chief Johnnie Adams said he has written several scenarios that will test various elements of the schools emergency response protocols.

“One will have some live injured actors that will be there with first responders to do some treatment with nursing staff,” he said. “There will be facilitators at each location to give them a scenario and ask them some questions as they move through the problem.”

He said the scenarios will test emergency responders but are also targeting the broader staff to ensure that everyone on campus is trained for an emergency situation.

In addition to the day test, Adams said the college will organize a duck and cover drill for the night classes at 8:19 p.m.
“The night classes don’t get a lot of tests,” he said.

City Hall will also be participating and the city’s office of Emergency Management encourages residents to always get a kit, have a plan and be informed.

OEM’s website has a list of basic supplies for an emergency kit and also provides instructions for developing emergency plans.

City Hall encourages residents to sign up for emergency information via the city’s service.

Visit to register to participate in the Great California ShakeOut.

Get A Kit

An emergency kit is all that separates you from being completely helpless after a disaster.
There are personal kits, household kits, and pet kits.

A personal disaster kit should contain any immediate personal hygiene or medical needs. Household kits usually contain items to make any environment livable or comfortable. The pet supply kit is Fido or Fefe’s life line, food and leashes are a good start.

Personal Disaster Supplies Kits
Medications, prescriptions list, copy of medical card, doctor’s name and contact information
Feminine hygiene needs
Spare eyeglasses or contact lenses and cleaning solution
Whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)
Sturdy shoes
Comfortable, warm clothing including extra socks
Emergency cash (small bills and coins)
A battery powered charger or a hand-crank charger for your mobile devices.

Household Disaster Supplies Kit
Flashlight with extra batteries / hand crank flashlight
Wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies
Sturdy work gloves and protective goggles
Heavy duty plastic bags and sealable plastic bags
Portable radio with extra batteries / hand crank radio
Drinking water (minimum one gallon per person, per day)
Canned and packaged foods
Manual can opener
First aid kit and handbook
Charcoal or gas grill for outdoor cooking and matches if needed
Cooking utensils
Blankets or sleeping bags, and perhaps even a tent
Copies of vital documents such as insurance policies

Pet Disaster Supplies Kit
Pet specific carrier
Sturdy leashes and/or harnesses
Current photos of your pets in case they get lost
Food, potable water, bowls, cat litter/pan, and manual can opener
Information on feeding schedules, medical conditions, behavior problems, and the name and number of your veterinarian in case you have to foster or board your pets.