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Stories From The California ShakeOut

We've been doing this drill for the last 6 years now, so each year it's slightly different.

-In days leading up to the drill, asked everyone for a refresh of out-of-state contacts

-Reevaluated water supply and upped by 10 containers of 5 gallons each to store in a shelter-in-place designated building

-Refreshed supply of granola bars

-Tested our FRS radios between buildings

-A week before, I called local Fire Station and asked which shift was working Thursday. Called back and explain to the B Shift Captain what Shakeout was about and what our company does. Had somewhat low expectation that they would show up.

-At 10:17AM, blew whistles in all three buildings; drop cover and hold on for 1 min; blew whistle again; everyone complied. Egressed buildings; headcount; radio between building; everyone came over to HQ.

-Confirmed that all out in two of three building and unsure of HQ. Gathered small search crew and did a left hand search of HQ building. Found someone still on the phone within first floor A-B corner of HQ; continued search through building including upstairs and exited. Informed others of the importance of searching and not assuming everyone's out.

-Relayed total headcount via Ham Radio to our local Police Department EOC and spoke with our Emergency Coordinator -- gave stats and mentioned the person still in building.

-Explained to everyone where the shelter in place location is; updates on water; importance of having a 3 day kit at home, in car and at office.

-Did a 360 of the building and showed where Gas Meter is and where the attached shutoff wrench is. Explained how to use use and importance of making a good judgment to either turn off or leave on the meter.

-Showed the other building occupants where their meter is as it's hidden in shrubs.

-Went back to work

-About 30 minutes later -- that awesome sound of a diesel engine was outside.... Fire Station 21 showed up and Capt Berryman and his crew spent about 20 minutes with us reviewing expectations of what they would be doing after an earthquake and what they're expecting of us. Gave me additional detail on retrofitting the gas meter and suggesting getting a wrench to shut off water supply. They also did an inside-building check so that they have an idea of the layout of our relatively new building complex.

-Having FD show up really validated the exercise, which was great.

That's it for this year.

Paul (KI6USA) - Asst Emerg Coord for Ventura County Auxiliary Communication Service and Director of Technology for David Allen Company.

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©2017 SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC
The Great California ShakeOut Step 1: Secure it now! Step 2: Make a plan Step 3: Make disaster kits Step 4: Is your place safe? Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On Step 6: Check it out! Step 7: Communicate and recover!