Great California ShakeOut | SPUSD Students Drop, Cover and Hold On

All five of South Pasadena’s public schools took part in the Great California ShakeOut at 10:17 a.m. Thursday morning News | earthquake

There was a whole lot of shakin’ going on at 10:17 a.m. Thursday morning, or so it appeared, as South Pasadena students simulated an earthquake that seemed to be felt throughout the state.

All five of the city’s public campuses took part in the Great California ShakeOut as students scurried under their desks and went through the necessary procedures to help safeguard themselves as if it were an actual quake.

Instruction from teachers was for students to “drop under classroom desks, cover and hold on” and protect their bodies from falling objects.

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They followed advice coming from the Great ShakeOut website:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand.

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath if it for shelter.
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows).
  • Stay on your knees, bend over to protect vital organs.

HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Students, faculty and staff in the local schools were informed about proper earthquake safety protocol and were taught easy-to-understand steps in case of a real life emergency.

Local school officials say the ShakeOut is only one example of safety preparedness activities undertaken every year. “Each school develops a comprehensive safety plan including staff pamphlets detailing fire, earthquake, soft lockout and hard lockdown procedures and an age-appropriate safety video that is shared with students,” reads a statement from the South Pasadena Unified School District. “All these protocols were developed in tandem with law enforcement agencies including the South Pasadena Police Department.”

School safety, stressed Superintendent Geoff Yantz, is the No. 1 priority, pointing out in its statement: “Participation in the International ShakeOut Day is an important reminder that the more we discuss and practice our safety protocols, the more natural our responses will become.”

Ironically, October 17 marks the 30th anniversary of the 6.9 Loma Prieta Earthquake that struck at 5:04 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rocking the region, it shook buildings from their foundations, flattened a stretch of the Cypress freeway in Oakland and dislodged a section of the Bay Bridge. On that same day in 1989, the Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants were preparing to play each other in the World Series at Candlestick Park in San Francisco when the trembler hit, postponing the series for a week, eventually won by the A’s. It proved to be Northern California’s most destructive earthquake since 1906.