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Buena Park officials join Great ShakeOut Earthquake training

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Buena Park has joined other areas across Orange County and California by participating in the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake preparedness training on October 15.

The exercise, in which participants react to a mock earthquake as if it were actually occurring, began around the same time across the state at 10:15 a.m. and lasted for about a minute. The aim of the exercise is to make sure people are prepared when a really large earthquake occurs.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly most of this year’s training has taken place, with organizers broadcasting the exercises on Facebook Live.

Orange County had 636,209 participants registered for this year’s event, according to the Great California ShakeOut website, and the majority came from K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. California as a whole had 6.6 million participants.

The exercises were held at Buena Park, City Hall, City of Public Works Square, and Buena Park Police Department.

“Every year employees participate in this important training, we learn that earthquake preparedness is vital to safety at work,” Gina Van Straten, a marketing specialist in Buena Park, told The Epoch Times.

“The more we exercise, the more comfortable we are with the appropriate response. We are better prepared when a major earthquake strikes,” Van Straten said.

She said the exercise teaches people how to handle a potential emergency, using a “mock earthquake” for training.

“Every employee is aware of the phantom earthquake and then immediately stops, falls and hides under his desk,” she said.

The employees are then informed when the mock earthquake ends, and then each employee vacates the building and gathers in their designated areas in the front and back parking lots. Some employees have predetermined duties to conduct a staff census in their department to make sure everyone is in and out of the building safely. “

“Buena Park puts personnel and safety first,” she added.

“We decided to participate so that our staff would remain safe during the earthquake emergency and then be able to return to work and help the rest of the community after the earthquake emergency.”

Doug Brodowski, director of operations for the Public Works Department in Buena Park, told The Epoch Times that his department has coordinated earthquake response efforts with the city council.

At 10:15 a.m. we issued an announcement for the Palestinian Authority [public address] “The system indicates an earthquake and for everyone in the building to take shelter,” Brodovsky said in an email.

We teach them to “fall, cover, and grab something” in their current location. After 15 seconds, we announced that the exercise was complete.

“Then we trigger the fire alarm and all the people in the building then go out to the pre-set evacuation site outside the buildings where we take a turn and ensure everyone gets out of the buildings safely.”

Brodovsky said the team then followed the accident leader at City Hall.

Then we reported … via our emergency radio system that all people are present and their fate has been determined and this is the end of the exercises. We do this periodically to remind our staff of earthquake safety and how to exit the building correctly and then count everyone.

“It is a refresh of information about the operation of our radio system and reminds everyone of their assigned role in these types of emergencies. For example, many personnel are recruited and trained in search and rescue, first aid, etc.”

The group behind Great ShakeOut, the epicenter of the Southern California earthquake, held a live video showing the online exercises, which were held roughly this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the exercise, the center gave presentations from earthquake and emergency management experts who discussed how to stay safe during an earthquake, and then allowed users to ask questions.

Elisa Blumer, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Readiness Officer, District 10, explained to the public that a little preparation before an earthquake can have a big impact on how safe a person is.

“Walk into every room and think: If an earthquake happened now, what would happen? What would cause harm or injury?” Ballmer suggested, “Make changes.”

“It could be simple changes, like moving the tall bookshelf to another place not near the sofa where you sit and spend a lot of time, or actually reinforcing the upper bookshelf in the wall so that if the floor starts to shake, it won’t fall. Of anything that can fall and harm you. “

Brian Terbusch, the Earthquake / Volcano Program Coordinator from the Washington State Department of Emergency Management, also discussed tips on how to stay safe.

“The bed is actually one of the safest places during an earthquake,” Tarbush told viewers. “Just turn over and put your head over you [pillow] Or place your pillow over your head, so you get a little extra protection. “

Althea Rizzo, the coordinator of the Geological Hazards Program for Emergency Management in Oregon, made suggestions about what to do if the person was overseas.

“If you are outside, you want to move to an open area and away from buildings, especially if you are in the downtown area,” she said.

“Often times, the facades of these buildings can fall and cause injury to people who pass by them. So you want to go down and move as quickly as possible to an open area away from the buildings.”

The event also introduced a new smartphone app to viewers called “My Shake”.

The app – which alerts every user when an earthquake strikes, depending on the location – has been implemented in this year’s training so that participants know that it has been set up correctly and that they will be warned in the future.

Officials recommended that California residents be prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours after the earthquake by having some items on hand, including a first aid kit, food and enough water for each family member to be able to drink a gallon a day for three days.

The Great ShakeOut began in 2008 and has nearly 29 million registered participants worldwide this year, including more than 12 million people in the United States.

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