Being a California resident, the possibility of a big earthquake is never far from our minds. For those who lived in the Santa Clarita Valley during the major Northridge earthquake of 1994, the destruction that followed is hard to forget.
If you are too young to remember the earthquake, or moved to this area in the last 25 years, check out news reports from January 1994 and look at the pictures of the damage that was caused by the 6.7 magnitude quake. In Santa Clarita, the 5/14 freeway interchange collapsed, buildings were damaged and city staff worked out of temporary facilities while City Hall underwent repairs.
The Northridge Earthquake is a sobering reminder of the unpredictable nature of disasters and of the need to always be prepared for emergencies. One such way to do so is by participating in the Great California ShakeOut, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018.
As children in California, we went through various earthquake drills and were taught to “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” the same way our children today are taught in school in Santa Clarita. However, when was the last time you had a refresher on what to do in an earthquake as an adult?
The Great California ShakeOut is designed to help families and organizations prepare for an earthquake. This year, it will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 10:18 a.m.
If you own a business or are part of an organization, you can register to participate in the statewide drill. When the clock hits 10:18 a.m., be sure to Drop, Cover and Hold On. While we do not have the power to fully predict an earthquake, we can prepare ourselves and our families by keeping the following tips in mind:
• Take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold onto it firmly.
• Stay under cover until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move.
• Avoid doorways – swinging doors can cause injuries.
• Never run out of a building while the ground is shaking.
• If you are outside when an earthquake begins, move away from buildings, trees, overpasses and power lines, then drop to the ground.
• If you are driving, pull to the side of the road where safe to do so. Stay in your car with your seatbelt fastened.
Please take a few moments to learn more about earthquake preparedness and the Great California ShakeOut by visiting ShakeOut.org/California.
You can also get more information on how to prepare for various emergencies by visiting the city’s website at santa-clarita.com/emergency.
Bob Kellar is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected]