‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’

By Patric Hedlund

All the Mountain Communities— our homes, schools and roads—are built astride the San Andreas Fault. For several years, the U.S. Geological Survay (USGS) has been warning that the fault is long overdue for a major earthquake. A statewide emergency preparedness drill is scheduled for next week.

The Great California Shake- Out will rumble across California at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. Ten million people in the state are expected to participate. Principals at local schools say their students will join in the USGS drill.

“When each second counts, immediate quake-safe actions will save lives and minimize injuries,” the USGS advises. “What’s at stake is the ability for people to survive and recover quickly from the effects of one of nature’s most powerful and destructive forces.”

“We’ve already been practicing our fire drills,” said Gretchen Skrotzki, principal for both Frazier Park and El Tejon Schools. She quoted the “drop, cover, hold on and then evacuate,” recommendations that are part of the El Tejon Unified School District’s emergency operation plan. Frazier Mountain High School Principal Anthony Saba agreed: “We’ll be conducting the drill, ‘duck and cover,’ then wait for the all-clear.”

The schools won’t be carrying out extensive exercises this year, such as setting up triage areas for injured students, practiced four years ago.

This is part of the October 14, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.