Biola University to Host 2019 Great ShakeOut SoCal Full-Scale Exercise

Oct. 8, 2019 By Jenna Loumagne

LA MIRADA, CALIF. October 7, 2019 — With the risk of the “Big One” occurring anytime, earthquake preparedness is essential for California residents and organizations. Biola University will host the Southern California 2019 Great ShakeOut Full-Scale Exercise in partnership with the Earthquake Country Alliance Southern California Region and local emergency response teams. Biola is the first college to partner with Early Warning Labs to implement a campus-wide ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning system and has been selected as this year’s ShakeOut media event host due to being a model institution for earthquake preparedness.

“Another major earthquake within our region is a matter of when, not if,” said Biola’s Chief of Campus Safety John Ojeisekhoba. “Well thought out comprehensive initiatives and frequent drills are key to a robust earthquake preparedness plan. Drills allow people and organizations to assess how well things would operate and presents the opportunity to correct any problems before the occurrence of a major earthquake.”

At approximately 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, Biola will trigger the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning campus-wide — a mass notification that an earthquake has occurred and to expect shaking, and to drop, cover and hold on. Across campus, the same message will be heard with Biola’s Earthquake Early Warning campus public address system. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake striking the Northern portion of the Elsinore Fault near Lake Elsinore will rupture the Whittier Fault, resulting in intensity Level VIII severe shaking on campus. Several areas of Biola’s campus suffered damage including the library where about 100 students were studying with some injured unable to exit. Responding to Biola to aid in rescue and support efforts will include the Biola Emergency Management Team, Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management, trained volunteers from La Mirada and Norwalk Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Disaster Management Area E, HAM amateur radio operators, American Red Cross, and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD).


Media and special guests are invited to the full-scale exercise starting at 3:30 a.m. at 13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, Calif., 90639.

What: Southern California’s full-scale earthquake exercise and primary media event including moulage victims featuring local and county emergency response teams 

Who: County of Los Angeles Supervisor Janice Hahn, LACoFD, CERT, LASD, Biola Emergency Management Team. A full list of organizations and experts is available online and in the full press kit.

When: Thursday, Oct. 17: Media arrival starts at 3:30 a.m., Official press conference starts at 9:30 a.m., Full-scale exercise starts at 10:17 a.m.

Where: Biola University Library at 13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, Calif. 90639

On site Media Contact: Jenna Loumagne (949) 521-1829; Ken Kondo (213) 792-5128

Biola University hosted the 2014 Great California ShakeOut. As a result, Biola has increased Biola’s emergency response services and earthquake preparedness due to the university’s heavy reliance on immediate assistance from external agencies during the 2014 exercise. Biola is the first higher education institution to implement the ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System campus-wide. Other improvements include seismic assessment and retrofits of campus buildings, new emergency response teams and communication systems including awareness initiatives, guidebooks, a campus public address system, and a full functional emergency operations center including a standby generator.

“Biola is a perfect example of the ShakeOut message for everyone to take action and improve their earthquake resiliency,” said Margaret Vinci, Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) SoCal Region Co-Chair and California Institute of Technology. “With the addition of the new ShakeAlert Early Warning System and EOC, response procedures and the retrofit of several structures, Biola has made their university a safer place for their academic community and has set the bar for others.”

The BigShaker truck earthquake simulator will be on-site for scheduled media opportunities. Contact Jenna Loumagne ( to schedule a time slot on Oct. 17 between 4:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for live shots. The BigShaker will also be open to the public on campus for students and staff to practice “Drop, Cover, Hold On.” If media would like to schedule a time to have moulage applied, contact Jenna Loumagne. The official hashtag for the event is #shakeout.

Media Opportunities

Shaker truck, moulage, 7 Steps to preparedness resources, subject matter experts and press conference speakers, Drop Cover and Hold On drill, full-scale drill including mobilization of Biola and local emergency responders, search and rescue efforts by CERT and LA County FIre, triage and Red Cross comfort station.

About the Great California ShakeOut

The Great ShakeOut provides organizations, schools, businesses, government offices and agencies, first responders, emergency managers and the general public with the opportunity to practice the essential life saving “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” immediate response to an earthquake, and to focus on initiating or reviewing their earthquake emergency plans and preparations.

About Biola University

Biola University is a leading Christ-centered university in Southern California that offers a premier, nationally ranked education. With more than 6,300 students, the university offers more than 150 academic programs through its nine schools. Biola’s Campus Safety Chief John Ojeiskhoba is an award-winning Campus Safety Chief and has advanced Biola’s safety efforts during his tenure including leading Biola’s earthquake preparedness measures. For more information, visit

For more information and press passes, contact Jenna Loumagne, assistant director of media relations and strategic communications, at (562) 777-4061 or 

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