Are Fire Departments Ready to ShakeOut

Are you going to participate in the Great ShakeOut?


On October 18, at 1018hrs, millions of people around the world (in their respective time zones) will “drop, cover, and hold on.” They will get under their desk, under a table, or crouch next to their chair or bench and cover their heads. They’ll do this for a minimum of 60 seconds. Just as if an earthquake were taking place.

But… is that it? highlights the many regions that are participating in one type of earthquake drill or another. But ShakeOut is there to promote awareness more than anything else. How do you get people to change their behavior?

One way is to take advantage of the date and create a functional drill. It doesn’t need to be a real time drill, but that might be useful. At the very least, consider creating an environment wherein the local CERT team, a local school or business, and your fire department get together and discuss the issues related to earthquakes.

In some places, such as Los Angeles, realistic drills have been conducted for the past five years, with firefighters rescuing “trapped” students in classrooms within their school grounds. The result is a drill wherein limited resources are available, interaction between firefighters and students, not to mention the practice that teachers and administrators go thru to ensure they’re ready when the next big quake rips into town.

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Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

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