Shaking down safety protocols and procedures

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Illustration by Maria Salvador, March 18, 2014

Protocols for emergency situations are important for college campuses, and having a campus in a geologically active state like California means being prepared for an earthquake is a major concern.

Experiencing an earthquake is rarely an easy ordeal. The one that hit the Los Angeles area the morning of Monday, March 17, rattled the nerves of many people and became a trending topic on Facebook and Twitter. During a quake, a sense of panic takes control and a person’s first instinct is to seek immediate cover to protect themselves from falling debris, furniture and shards of glass. What would happen if a major earthquake were to occur on campus?

In the event of an earthquake occurring on campus, Pierce College’s emergency protocols can easily be found on the school’s website under the Campus Safety & Sheriff link and “Emergency Booklets” are also available in each classroom. These booklets, that offer recommendations on what to do during an earthquake and a map showing evacuation sites around campus, should be placed inside a visibly labeled box, much like first aid kits, which can be easily seen and accessible to anyone. Having these items, however, isn’t enough. Along with participating in the annual Great California Shakeout, Pierce should also implement a campus centric annual earthquake drill of its own.

Implementing these ideas help better prepare us for the next major earthquake when it happens and it is in everyone’s best interest if these were to be implemented as soon as possible.