Earthquake readiness workshop prepares students for big one

Strap In– Student Eric Rivera (sitting) demonstrating the evacuation stair chair usage during earthquake safety workshop Monday. c/n Melody Ortiz

By Melody Ortiz

An earthquake safety workshop that discussed earthquake readiness and preparation was held Monday.

ELAC’s Fire Technology Coordinator Jason Hosea began the lecture portion by saying, “You don’t rise to the level of the occasion, you rise to the level of your training,” meaning the more knowledgeable one is in a situation, the better suited they are to handle it.

He talked about the importance of being prepared for the “Big One,” the earthquake many Californians are worried about, especially those living on or near the San Andreas fault line.

Hosea said people shouldn’t take the smaller earthquakes too lightly because they could be what gets California closer to the big one.

The workshop included several slides of a powerpoint presentation, each going more into detail.

The presentation suggested creating an emergency plan.

Knowing the safe and dangerous spots in your location, choosing a place to reunite if separated from loved ones, developing survival kits and keeping a list of emergency numbers were all discussed.

Hosea said that it is important to have emergency numbers from outside of the area in case the contact is also in the disaster area and they may not be of much help.

The workshop also focused on home preparation.

According to the presentation, it is important to learn how to shut off the gas, water, and electricity and secure all heavy appliances.

It is also important to keep heavy objects on lower shelves and check all chimneys, roofs, and wall foundations for stability.

When developing a survival kit, make sure to include food, water, clothes, and medications.

He also said that keeping a pair of good shoes next to your bed is also crucial because a good percentage of natural disaster injuries is due to bare feet stepping onto broken glass and debris.

According to the workshop, it is important to maintain food that can last a while, such as canned foods and granola bars.

Hosea said keeping things like tents, sleeping bags, and camp stoves may also come in handy.

When it comes to the earthquake itself, Hosea reminds people to duck, cover, and hold.

For those who are outside during an earthquake, Hosea said to stay in an open area, away from falling structures and power lines.

It’s also important not to forget about aftershocks.

Because fires are likely to occur afterwards, Hosea suggests learning how to use a fire extinguisher.

At the end of the workshop, Hosea demonstrated how to use an evacuation stair chair.

These chairs are located on different floors in the newer, multistory buildings on campus.

It is similar to a gurney and is used to help anyone disabled or injured down the stairs.

The workshop is part of a series that Hosea is hosting.

The next earthquake safety workshop will be on October 23 from noon to 1 p.m. in F9 101.

Fire extinguisher usage and CPR review will also be a part of this series of workshops.

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