Faculty, staff, and students at Santa Monica College will join over 10 million participants across California in the Great California ShakeOut – the world’s largest earthquake drill – at 10:16 am today, Oct. 16.
An emergency preparedness resource fair will also be held on the quad at SMC’s main campus on 1900 Pico Boulevard from 9 am to 1 pm.
The City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Fire Department and the Santa Monica Police Department will be among the organizations participating in the fair.
“More than two thousand years of geologic evidence shows that major earthquakes are common along the southern section of the San Andreas Fault – that same record shows that we are overdue since the last catastrophic earthquake on that fault was in 1857,” said Bill Selby, SMC professor of Geography and author of the “Rediscovering the Golden State: California Geography” textbook. “Many other smaller and closer faults under our cities are also capable of causing major damage at any time.”
SMC also houses a seismic sensor in its Earth Science Department.
The sensor is part of a larger-scale Quake Catcher Network (QCN) run by Stanford University – a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost, strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers.
The QCN can provide an improved understanding of earthquakes and give early warning to schools and emergency response systems.
Emergency notifications will go to all campus offices and classrooms over SMC-operated phone, computer and public address speaker systems to guide participants through the simulation which will begin at 10:16 am with the “Drop, Cover and Hold” exercise, the evacuation of buildings at 10:21 am and an “all-clear” message scheduled to be sent out around 10:41 am.
“Earth Science teaches us that you live in earthquake country and since the only question is when, you should be prepared now,” Selby said.
For more information on the Great California Shakeout, go to www.shakeout.org/california, or visit SMC’s emergency preparedness website at www.smc.edu/emergency.