Campuses prepare for major quake

Photo Illustration by John Michaelides / Clarion

The Great California Shakeout Drill will be held on Oct. 19 At Citrus College, giving students the opportunity to understand the procedures when California is hit with the awaited 8.2 magnitude earthquake.

The drill is practiced to spread awareness about “The Big One,” the predicted earthquake seismologists have been studying for decades.

The drill is practiced throughout the nation and in several other countries. At 10 a.m., Citrus College will be alongside millions globally who will properly demonstrate how to drop, cover and hold.

Every year, Citrus College takes the initiative to practice the drill with a serious manner. Many do not know the San Andreas fault line runs directly beneath the campus, making Glendora the epicenter of the long overdue earthquake.

“I didn’t know about the drill at all,” Isaac Godoy, business major, said. “And quite frankly, I think when our time comes for the real big one, everyone is going to lack rationale and logic and think and act for themselves, as human nature tends to be.”

In 2016, over 10 million people participated, with around 7 million enrolled this year. Out of the 7 million, 5 million of the participants are from K-12 schools and 1.2 million are from colleges and universities.

Many nearby colleges are participating as well, including Azusa Pacific University, Cal Poly Pomona and Pasadena City College.

“I feel that these drills are helpful,” Jessica Sanchez, liberal arts major, said. “Most students, like myself, are not always aware of safety areas on campus if a major earthquake were to ever occur during school hours, but I also feel like some students don’t take it seriously.”

The drills began in California in 2008, as researchers realized California was long overdue for a major earthquake, particularly in the San Andreas fault line.

The San Andreas Fault line has increasingly been moving a couple inches a year since 1857, and many Californians are worried that the population is uninformed and underprepared.

The San Andreas Fault and the Newport/Inglewood Strike-Slip Fault runs through downtown Los Angeles, an earthquake in the magnitude of the low sevens can be catastrophic, due to the close proximity of skyscrapers.

“I am aware of this predicted earthquake being very large and affecting lots of areas within California, but because predicting earthquakes is so hard, I will deal with the quake when it comes,” Austin Callahan, business major, said. “All you can do is prepare and have a plan.”

Geology and natural disasters professor, Charles Fair, said Californians are completely underprepared.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned in my years is that because of the big bend, you never know where a fault could be. It would be difficult to build a house not near a fault.There known faults and unknown faults. The only way to truly know is if you took a back hoe and started digging until you see the fault line and chances are is that there is probably one in your backyard.” said Fair.

Every semester for his natural disasters class Professor Fair makes it a priority to give his students a “preparedness worksheet” so they’re prepared in the event of any natural disaster.

Basic things to know and do in the event of a natural disaster include:

  • Where the water heater is (water inside can be used as a last resort source in addition to the water in the tank of a toilet)
  • Have a spare set of clean clothing
  • Have non-perishable goods, especially water, that are rotated yearly to make sure they stay fresh and free of pests.
  • Where the gas shut off is located
  • A route for your family to leave the house if it collapses and a location to meet once everyone is safely out

“Anything can happen at anytime,” Fair said.