Zack Stromberg, my graphic designer in the Public Affairs Office, was giving me an update on a project. Suddenly there was a jolt, and then the building began gently, ever so gently, swaying.
Had the earthquake hit prior to the seismic retrofit of Pasadena City Hall, it would have been horrible. But I'm happy to say the retrofit worked and all those base isolators did their job.
We were evacuated immediately. We headed down the stairs to the Garfield side of the building and then across the street, which is the standard evacuation for earthquakes, fires and other incidents. Some departments go to the northwest corner of Garfield and Holly, and other departments go the southwest corner where the Robinson Memorial (lovingly called "the heads") is located.
Before I show you evacuation photos, is your earthquake kit in order? How about your family emergency plan? Explore our Emergency Preparedness web page and get a move on!
Here are city employees beginning to gather at the northwest corner:
I was among the employees who gathered at the southwest corner:
Here's Zack, Barney Melekian, a constituent, our Public Affairs summer intern in the blue with her arm over her head, Assistant City Manager Julie Gutierrez with her back turned, Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, the mayor's executive assistant Lorain Nagahiro, and City Clerk's Office executive secretary Kathy Vandervort with her back turned.
It doesn't show up very well in this photo, but there are etchings on the backs of "the heads" that represent the accomplishments of Jackie and Mack Robinson who grew up in Pasadena. If you've never walked over and looked around the entire installation, I highly recommend it!
Pasadena Fire Department arrived to do an inspection of the building to ensure it was safe to reoccupy. Once they gave the high sign, an hour after we evacuated, we went back to work.