Mountain View 'Drops, Covers and Holds' on in Earthquake Drill

City employees, individuals and businesses around the city participate in the annual California ShakeOut.

Twenty-three years ago on Oct. 17, the Loma Prieta earthquake literally shook the Bay Area.

On Thursday, hundreds of people in Mountain View took 60 seconds at 10:18 a.m. and 'dropped, covered and held on' during the fifth annual Great California Shakeout. This encourages emergency preparedness drills from the individual level to large governmental and business institutions.

"We participated last year and registered with the Shakeout a few months ago," said Lynn Brown, the Fire Department Emergency Coordinator, who reminded all city employees about the drill. "I couldn't be everywhere, but I hope everyone participated."

Created in 2008, the Shakeout thought up a scenario that aimed to prepare people and emergency responders to respond to a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.  An earthquake like this – large enough to cause strong shaking over much of northern California – is inevitable and understanding its impacts is an important step in preparing for the event," according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Brown also took this opportunity to give city employees a disaster preparedness checklist with a list of items necessary for people to hold on for three days, long enough for important services to begin to normalize. City employees, he explained, "are disaster service workers and must stay or return from home to help."

Around the city, reports via Facebook began to trickle in from people who participated.

"I was on the phone with a client and told him to get under his desk...I did it anyway," said Jenn Poret, a stage manager at the Center for the Performing Arts. "No one here to take my photo though."

A commissioner with the Human Relations Commission, also took a moment to practice.

"I did it at home with my son and he knew exactly what to do," said local resident Greg Coladonato. "He must have learned it in school."

Brown works closely with both the Mountain View Whisman School District and the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District too.

"They do pretty well," he said. "It's amazing to see all of those kids come out of their classrooms, onto the fields and be counted."

Did you participate? Do you remember where you were during Loma Prieta in 1989?


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