Thousands of people participate in earthquake preparedness drills

Great Shakeout helps people prepare for earthquake

BAKERSFIELD - Millions of Americans tested their preparedness for when the big one really hits.  The exercise is all part of the ‘Great Shakeout,’ and many people participated in Kern County.

More than 166,000 people from Kern County registered.  From state and local governments to K-12 schools and districts, as well as universities and colleges.  All with one goal: survive and recover, from an earthquake.

A familiar noise is helping students at Bakersfield College prepare for a major earthquake.

"We evacuated all of our buildings, plus our centers and actually had runners reporting in to us in less than 14 minutes," said Amber Chaing, spokesperson for Bakersfield College.

The college delivered more than 17,000 e-mails and close to 8,000 text messages to students, teachers and faculty members as part of the exercise drill. 

"It was a good time to learn some lessons and you know when you practice things, you get better at it and you learn what you need to do differently for the next time and that's what we had at Bakersfield College," she said.

The Shakeout isn’t just about drop, cover and hold on, it’s also a good time for people and organizations to review and update any emergency preparedness plans and supplies in order to prevent damage and injuries.

"Shutting off water, shutting off gas and then making sure everybody is secure while we do it," she said.

Leaders with the college say its response time during the drill improved than in previous practices.  They say the campus community not only participates in the Great Shakeout, but administrators set up drills every semester.

Notifications of the earthquake drill at Bakersfield College also went to its TTY systems for hearing impaired individuals and the school’s five social media channels.

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