Monday, November 3, 2008

Drop, Cover and Hold On!


Will you be ready for the Great Southern California Shakeout on Nov. 13?

We want you to be part of it, and that means learning how to protect yourself properly during the next "Big One."

Dr. Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey has led an alliance of scientists, emergency managers, engineers, government officials and others to study the likely consequences of a potential magnitude 7.8 earthquake in great detail. The result is the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario.

The Great Southern California ShakeOut is one opportunity to practice your earthquake survival skills. These kinds of drills train us to act quickly – to Drop, Cover and Hold On immediately to minimize injury.

Here's a personal invitation from Dr. Lucy:


The Pasadena Fire Department continually spreads the word to Pasadena residents, neighborhoods, schools, the faith community, businesses and non-profit organizations throughout the community, and emergency crews review preparedness plans to make sure they’re as complete as possible.

Here are the steps you should take whenever you train for an earthquake:

1. Drop to the ground, take Cover under a sturdy table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a magnitude 7.8 earthquake were happening. Stay down for at least 60 seconds. Practice now so you can protect yourself immediately during a real earthquake.

(Why should you Drop? Because in a major earthquake, if you don't drop to the floor on your own, the force of the energy will knock you off your feet.

Why should you Cover? Because objects in your home or office will probably be flying all over the place.

Why should you Hold On? Because the table or desk you're under will probably begin sliding, and you'll need to slide with it.)

2. While still under the table or desk, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake when shaking may last for one to two minutes. What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like in the immediate moments after? What should you do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and recover quickly? You can't know unless you plan ahead!

3. Practice what you will do after the shaking stops.

4. Complete your disaster plan and emergency preparedness kit as soon as possible.

For vital information and to sign up for Pasadena Emergency Response Team (PERT) training, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/disaster.

Also, please note:

A local newspaper as well as several email chains have described a Triangle of Life position to be taken during major earthquakes, under the assumption that most Americans will have their homes and workplaces collapse around them.

Don’t believe it! The fact is that there is absolutely no scientific research to suggest that the Triangle of Life position works, and agencies such as the American Red Cross, U.S. Geological Survey and Governor's Office of Emergency Services have gone on record as disputing this viral rumor.

However, it has been proven time and time again, during documented scientific research, that the Drop, Cover and Hold On technique is the best method for survival in the U.S.

Here's a little video the Leadership Pasadena class of 2007 made.

6 comments:

Tara said...

I'm so very glad we rarely deal with this in Vegas. And only then when it's a small tremor caused by a big one in California.

altadenahiker said...

This is very helpful, and I'm posting it on my wall.Glad you debunked the triangle of life -- never really understood that one.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

During our recent earthquake I stood under the doorway. Is that disputed now or still sound advise?

altadenahiker said...

I'd like to know that too. And where do you absolutely not want to run -- I've heard kitchen is the worst. Bathroom because of glass. Do certain doorways hold up better than others, or is the doorway thing a myth? Any tips?

pasadenapio said...

In a modern structure, the doorway is no stronger than the rest of the building, so you're more likely to be injured by the door swinging wildly during an earthquake if you're under the doorway. You're much safer under a table or desk.

Mademoiselle Gramophone said...

We love`Dr. Lucy.