Cypress College participated in the Great California Shakeout on Thursday Oct. 17th joining over 9 million Californians to take part in the drill throughout the state. At 10:17am students and faculty members on campus were required to practice the essential skills that can help prevent death or injury by practicing how to drop, cover, and hold on in an emergency earthquake. Evacuations to the designated assembly points were held for all the buildings all through campus after “Live Drill Broadcast” video produced by organizers of the Shakeout was played to inform all viewers on the importance of how proper reaction response can save lives.
Incorporated into this year’s earthquake drill was an emergency operations center set up by administrators in order to manage the event. Further additions included a triage center, coordinated by Marla McBride, designed for victims who were simulating potential injuries that can occur in the event of a legitimate earthquake. The emergency operations center and the triage where located in the gateway area in front of the school adjacent the Theatre Arts building and the student store. Public Information Officer Marc S. Posner said these additions were added to the drill in order, “to complicate the evacuation as well as to get us mostly in the mindset of coming together as a leadership group after an incident because it is important for us as responders to know how we need to get together in case of an emergency.”
Following the evacuations of the all the buildings, the triage center treated simulated victims who were brought in from around campus. The mock victims who volunteered, three students and one staff member, simulated potential injuries which included head, arm, and leg injuries. Marla McBride who coordinated the triage center stated the intent of the mock victims was to make the drill as realistic as possible as well as “to remind everybody that we live in an earthquake zone, especially here in California and we would like individuals to begin to be aware of their surroundings and what they do in the event of a true disaster here at school and at home.”
Information regarding the drill was posted on campus throughout the week in order to prepare students for the evacuation process, however, some students were still bothered by the event including Manny Quintero who posted on the Cypress Chronicle’s Facebook page, “… just doing my paper in the library and this is inconvenient.” For many other students participating including Osman Rios 21, a kinesiology, major information regarding what was happening became a mystery. Rios stated, “I didn’t know what was happening… I was just walking onto campus and I saw everybody evacuating and they told me it was a drill so I just followed everybody. When asked if he thought the drill was effective preparation even though he arrived late, Rios replied, “I believe so because the whole campus has evacuated and everybody (in the area) is accounted for.”