UCSF's first responders will partipate in the "Great California ShakeOut," the largest emergency preparedness drill in California history will begin to unfold on the morning of Thursday, Oct. 18.
Throughout California an estimated 9 million people in homes, schools, businesses, and at the UCSF campus are expected to participate in statewide exercise.
UCSF will be taking advantage of this unique annual event by activating the UCSF Campus Emergency Operations Center along with several UCSF departments with emergency response fucntions and disaster volunteers. The UCSF Campus Emergency Response Team (C-CERT) will be working closely with UCSF Campus Floor Wardens and Site Emergency Coordinators to gather information for the UCSF Emergency Operations Center. They will also practice lifesaving and incident management skills learned as part of FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
The Great California ShakeOut provides a “teachable moment” for UCSF on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for staff, faculty, and students to get prepared and to practice what needs to be done to ensure that life safety is a priority following a major earthquake.
Each year UCSF conducts at least one exercise of its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staffed by approximately 120 staff members from across UCSF. As UCSF expands the development of emergency response teams comprised of Police, Enviromental Halth & Safety, Facilities Management, and other departments and staff volunteers, the annual exercises are including a field component to the exercise in addition to the EOC.
Why does UCSF do this each year? Each University of California is designated a state agency (California Emergency Services Act) and each campus as local government (CCR Title 19). As such UCSF is responsible for managing and coordinating its response to any type of emergency.
In addition, each UC employee may be called upon to function as Disaster Service Worker (DSW) to assist in the University’s response and recovery from disasters. Conducting annual exercises allows UCSF Police and its Emergency Management Division to assess UCSF response capabilities and plans, enable UCSF EOC staff and emergency responders to put into practice their training, and benefit from lessons learned so they may make UCSF stronger and more resilient for the next disaster.
To participate, go here and register for the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants register (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice "drop, cover, and hold on" at the specified time. It is only a five-minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.