Jan. 19, 2020
A 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck Biola University at 9:40 a.m. this morning — at least hypothetically. Biola hosted a full-scale mass casualty exercise in partnership with the city of La Mirada for the 7th annual Great ShakeOut, a worldwide earthquake drill.
With more than 25 million participants in 50 countries, the event educates and prepares people for when a real earthquake strikes. For Biola’s event, more than 110 volunteers including 70 students, campus safety officers, the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and local fire department came together for an extensive drill.
“We’re honored to host today’s multi-agency ShakeOut event on earthquake preparedness,” said Biola President Barry H. Corey. “Within the City of La Mirada and the County of Los Angeles we aspire to be great neighbors and partners. At Biola, we take emergency readiness very seriously, and today's drill will go a long way to making not only our campus but our surrounding community safer and better prepared for whatever unplanned disaster may come.”
Biola’s drill was selected by the State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as this year’s featured drill, meaning agencies and news outlets from across Southern California participated in the exercise.
Biola’s campus safety led the response effort after the mock earthquake struck at 9:40 a.m. Approximately 70 students acted as victims in the drill, complete with mock injuries. The Los Angeles County Fire Department and CERT led the search and rescue effort to recover the injured victims. Nursing students assisted with triage alongside Biola’s health center.
In addition to educating participants to “drop, cover and hold on,” during an earthquake, the drill provided an opportunity for emergency response teams to practice disaster response procedures. Moulage victims added to the physical and emotional intensity of the exercise.
Starting at 4 a.m., the Ready America “Big Shaker” earthquake simulation trailer started shaking things up, quite literally. The trailer simulated an earthquake of magnitude 6.0 or higher for five seconds at a time. Participants were given quite the jolt and opportunity to practice “drop, cover and hold on.”
According to Dale Schneeberger, a geology professor at Biola, there is a 97 percent chance of a high magnitude earthquake occurring in the next 30 years in California.
“We live in a beautiful area, but it has its faults,” said Schneeberger at today’s press conference.
Local authorities including the LACFD, City of La Mirada Office of Emergency Management and CERT participated in today’s drill. This year a record number of more than 10 million Californians registered in advance for The Great ShakeOut.
Written by Jenna Bartlo, media relations specialist. For more information, please contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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