The Great California Shakeout is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes. This year’s drill will take place October 21st at 10:21am. Drop, Cover, and Hold On is the immediate action taken during an earthquake to protect students and staff from flying and falling debris. It is an appropriate action for earthquakes and explosions. The San Mateo County Community College District combines Drop, Cover, and Hold On with a secondary drill of Evacuation. Evacuation is implemented when conditions make it unsafe to remain in the building. This action provides for the orderly movement of students and staff along prescribed routes from inside school buildings to a designated outside area of safety. Evacuation is considered appropriate for earthquakes, chemical accidents, explosions, and fire. Evacuation is only required for the District Community that are participating on Campus Grounds. Evacuation may be practiced remotely, but is not required for the Drill.

Managing the Drill with COVID-19

On Thursday, October 21, 2021 SMCCD will be participating in the “Great Shakeout” statewide earthquake drill. While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited the ways in which we can conduct emergency drills, the Great Shakeout is unique in that you can participate from any location. So while you may not be able to participate on campus, it is a great opportunity to assess the safety of your home and to take steps now to mitigate the impact that a significant earthquake may have on your home.

This drill is scheduled for 10:21AM (Thursday) and will commence with an AlertMe text and email notification. At this time, all members of the campus community are asked to identify a safe spot to drop, cover, and hold on as if a major earthquake were occurring, and remain in that position for 60 seconds. This preplanning tactic (identifying safe locations in the workplace) is vital for risk mitigation when an actual event or life-safety drill occurs.

If you are Off Campus, please participate in the Drop, Cover, and Hold On portion of the Drill. If you are participating in a Zoom Meeting, Remote Learning, or work-related function, we encourage you to pause the District work, as the drill will only last for one minute. If you have not done so already, please take the time to download the RAVE Emergency Notification Application (RAVE GUARDIAN), which can be found in the Google Play & Apple App Store. This application provides safety features for the end user, and can deliver multiple streams of notification to mobile devices.

What to do On Campus-(Drop Cover and Hold On)

  1. The Office of Emergency Management/Public Safety will send out an alert over the Emergency Notification System (AlertMe) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 10:21am. All students and employees will receive text messages and emails.
  2. At first recognition of the alert, instruct students to move away from windows.
  3. Initiate Drop, Cover, and Hold On procedures.
  5. Immediately drop to the floor under desks, chairs, and tables.
  6. With back to windows, place head between knees, hold on to a table leg with one hand and cover the back of the neck with the other arm.
  7. Move as little as possible.
  8. If a person is unable to find protection under sturdy furniture, direct them to shelter against an interior wall and turn away from windows and other glass.
  9. Any person in a wheelchair should shelter against an interior wall. Turn back to windows, lock the wheels, and if possible, protect head, and neck with arms.
  10. If outside, find a clear spot and drop to the ground away from buildings, trees, power lines, etc.
  11. Building Captains need to participate as all other employees in this part of the drill
  12. Wait for further communication from EAS and AlertMe to Evacuate students to predetermined Evacuation Assembly Area.

What to do on campus (evacuation)

  1. The Office of Emergency Management/Public Safety will send out an alert over the Emergency Notification System (AlertMe) and the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at 10:22am. All students and employees will receive text messages and emails.
  2. Prepare students to leave all belongings and calmly exit the building.
  4. Building Captains need to gather Go Packs and radios to assist all in evacuating. If Building Captains do not have radios (some are being reconditioned), please use your cell phones to contact Public Safety Dispatch (738-7000) with evacuation updates and to communicate true emergencies. Many Building Captains are currently working remotely, so evacuation confirmation on each campus will be established by each Campus Public Safety Captain.
  5. Ensure that the door is closed, but unlocked.
  6. Take care to ensure the safety and address the unique needs of students or staff with disabilities according to protocols.
  7. Emphasize that the class remain masked while inside District facilities in route to the Evacuation Assembly Area (EAA). EAAs are marked on evacuation maps, and are demarcated with green/white signage in designated parking lots.
  8. Appoint a responsible student to lead class while teacher brings up the rear, seeing that everyone has cleared the room. Give clear directions for all students to go to designated Evacuation Assembly Area.
  9. Use the designated evacuation routes and reassemble in the assigned Evacuation Assembly Area.
  10. If you are unable to locate an Evacuation Assembly Area, stay clear of buildings.
  11. Take attendance once class is safely in assembly location.
  12. Wait until ALL CLEAR announcement is issued via AlertMe, and return to school buildings and normal class routine.

Thank you for your participation!

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