EP 32 The Great ShakeOut with Mark Benthien

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Hi, welcome to EM Weekly, and this is Todd DeVoe, your host. I’m here with Mark Benthiaem, from… well, I’ll let him explain where he’s from. But, basically, he is with the group that started the great Southern California Shakeout. And it’s grown since then, and I think it’s a really great program, and I’m really excited to have Mark here. And Mark, just go ahead and introduce yourself, and exactly, what do you do?

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Well, hi, Todd. Yes, I’m the director for communication, education, and outreach at the Southern California Earthquake Center. Which is headquartered at the University of Southern California. We’re a federally funded earth science research center. My job is to take that information, communicate it to the public, and to emergency managers, and businesses, and really, everyone who needs to deal with earthquake hazards and give them that information. Not only about the science, but also what to do to reduce losses. And under that, I lead a California-based group, called the Earthquake Country Alliance, which is a public-private grass roots partnership, that we started back in 2003. And that group worked with many partners and with the US Geological Survey, in particular, who created the Shakeout Earthquake Scenario, for a large earthquake on the San Andreas fault in Southern California. In 2008, that study was released, and the partners of the Earthquake Country Alliance took that to create the first shakeout earthquake drill, which was intended to be something for, really, everyone to participate in. Not just the typical players in a full-scale exercise, emergency managers, and others. But that really everyone, schools, people in their homes, non-profits, church organizations, etc., could practice what to do in that big earthquake. And that was in 2008.

[TODD DEVOE] Wow, and since then, you guys are growing tremendously. So, you guys have gone nationwide. I guess also internationally, too, because I know that they do it, they use some of the products up in Canada and whatnot, so congratulations on that. That’s really exciting. And I’ve used your products for education, training for our community programs, and for CERT, and things like this. How do you guys put your programs together, and how can somebody use those in their education programs?

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Well, that’s right. Shakeout was intended as a one-time event, back in 2008. And what happened was that people from Northern California, initially, said “We’d like to participate also, what’s the date for next year?” We kinda said, “Next year? There could be a next year?” Wasn’t in that plan originally, so we started working on that. And also, interestingly, that very first year, we were contacted by a high school principal on the South Island of New Zealand, who was planning a community drill, and had heard about Shakeout. And that was the first other Shakeout besides California. It was a very small region on the South Island of New Zealand. So, we kind learned that, oh! We could do this in another place. And then the following year, Guam, and Nevada, and then British Columbia, Oregon, Central US, etc. etc. etc. So now, we have official Shakeout regions, either states or multi-state regions, and territories, covering the entire US, as well as three provinces of Canada, New Zealand in 2012 and 2015, and likely again next year, they’re kind of on every three-year cycle, having full nationwide Shakeout drills.

[TODD DEVOE] Wow.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] They’re having it all across Japan, in individual regions. And really, other countries participating in various ways, too.

[TODD DEVOE] Mark, that’s exciting. I mean, we’re getting the word out, and I mean, obviously, earthquake isn’t just a Southern California issue. Last week, I interviewed an author about a book called Quakeland, and we discussed all over the place where earthquakes have occurred, and plate tectonics, and how the earth is continuously moving. And that, you know, even in places like Maine, and New York, have faults running underneath them, and there’s earthquakes out there, too. So, the stuff that you’re doing is really important work that you guys are getting out there, and I know that what you guys are doing is gonna save a life. We had a little earthquake here, and it was a 5.8. And when the earthquake occurred, my son grabbed my daughter and went underneath the coffee table in the middle of our living room. We have a very open-space living room. My daughter was 2, she just turned 5. So, this was, you know, three years ago. And he just did it instinctively, he didn’t have to think about it, I didn’t have to tell him, and it was just great to see that occur. And I think it’s because of the work that you guys are doing that kids know how to do that, so thank you for that work there.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Well, that’s great to hear. That really is the outcome we hope to happen. That people, by practicing how to protect themselves on a regular basis develop that, you know, that muscle memory type of response. Especially young people. When we first created shakeout, the goal was really based on social science research, to get people talking about earthquakes. That, the research shows, is one of the factors that leads people to take preparedness actions, that they’re talking to each other; one, called milling. That they’re seeing other people take preparedness actions, there’s the social queues, that they’re seeing the queues of what other people are doing, that they’re getting their supplies together, they’re securing things in their homes that won’t fall during earthquakes, all that behavior. And that we wanted to provide resources. So, you asked earlier, all the resources and materials that are developed in a broad consensus, and that everyone can use. So that when people are looking for things, they’re not seeing a whole lot of conflicting different types of guidance and information. Of course, to do that, you have to have the consensus of the community, who puts out that messaging in the first place. So, that’s one thing we work on with the Earthquake Country Alliance and our Shakeout Coordinators around the country, to make sure that we’re all kind of singing the same songs, so that people aren’t using information in a way that says, “Well, they don’t know what they’re talking about, they say one thing, they say another, I don’t have to do anything.”

[TODD DEVOE] Right.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] And so, we really put a lot of effort into that, working with our federal partners, FEMA, of course, UFGS, others. As well as the state local social science researchers and others, to make sure that information is up-to-date, consensus as possible. And that includes that to do to protect yourself during an earthquake. So, at Shakeout.org, we have all these different resources and guidance for different types of participants. 23 different categories or so, customized information, we have resources for people with disabilities and access and functional needs, we have a Spanish version of the website, Shakeout.org/espanol, we have other language resources as well. So, we’re really trying to make it available and as consistent and in different forms. We have videos, we have animations, we have documents, we have drill manuals, we have all these things that people have asked for, that we put out, that can help people plan a drill that they can take their time in their organization or in their home to practice earthquake safety. And in particular, practice how to be safe right during the earthquake, but also all the things you need to do to be prepared in advance, so that you can then survive, and then begin your recovery much more quickly.

[TODD DEVOE] Yeah, I think a lot, what this does as well, is that it takes the fear out of the planning portion of it. You know, one of the things that I’ve noticed is like, when people don’t act and freeze, for a lack of a better term, it’s not really what they’re doing, but just for this case, we’ll call “freezing”. It’s because they don’t have the knowledge of what to do. And I think that when you practice these drills, like the great Shakeout drills, and you look at the videos, and you see what to do, that you’re more likely to act. And one of the things that we talked about, you kind of mentioned the social queues; is when you’re in a room full of people, people look to other people first, before they do something. In other words, if the earth starts to shake, no one wants to be the first person to go underneath their desk. But once the first person goes underneath the desk, you see everybody kind of doing it, and I think if you’re the person who’s trained and understands it, and you have practiced this, then it’s no longer a silly thing to do. It’s something that’s right to do, and everybody is expected to do it. So, I think what you guys are doing with the great Shakeout drills is really important, as far as getting people used to going underneath the desk and making it not seem odd.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Well, and there’s a lot to what you just said. So, yes, there are people who are hesitant to decide whether they need to protect themselves, and that could be for many different reasons. One, they may not think it’s gonna be a big earthquake, and why do they need to get down on the ground? They haven’t had to do that for many earthquakes in the past, those earthquakes have been smaller or farther away, where the shakeout hasn’t been intense enough, so that everything in their space is falling on top of them, or being thrown at them. And that’s part of the challenge we have, and why we keep doing this, and why we put out the messaging. To remind people that earthquakes can be quite serious, of course. And quite large. And larger than you’ve experienced. And they can happen where you live, or work, nearly every state in the country; even if there hasn’t had an earthquake in thousands of years, doesn’t mean it can’t happen tomorrow. Some places have them more regularly, some less frequently. But also, they may happen when you’re travelling. And practicing, even if you’re in a state that doesn’t have frequent earthquakes, practicing every once in a while; if you do travel, especially, to earthquake countries, or have you… when you are in California, or by Memphis, or in Alaska, or Washington state, or Oregon. Really, it is nearly every state. As the earthquake in Virginia, in 2011, it was felt all over the East Coast, demonstrates you can have these surprising locations that you need to know what to do, or maybe you’ll travel someplace where you do. And so, why do we say drop, cover, hold on? I think it’s something to kind of get out here, in why that is recommended by so many different people across the spectrum, including, which I think it’s most important, the urban search and rescue firefighters, who go to earthquakes around the world and rescue people from collapsed buildings. They are still saying, we are finding people who, more likely, put themselves in a spot that then provided a shelter, as they call it, a survival void space, than those who did not. Many people, they find were lucky, and ended up in such a space. But what they say is if you can put yourself in such a potential space, like under a strong table or desk, that you’re more likely to be then able to be rescued afterwards. And that being said, even though we see all of these horrific pictures and videos from Mexico, and Nepal, and other places where you see collapsed buildings, in nearly all those videos and pictures, if you look around, you’re seeing buildings that haven’t collapsed. And you know, I think in Mexico, there’s something like over 100 buildings now that have collapsed, or around that number. But there are hundreds of thousands that did not, and in each of those buildings, the potential for a television, or a top-heavy furniture, or something hung on a wall, or a potted plant, these types of things that could fall, ceiling tiles and lights, and such, that can fall or be thrown in an earthquake, it hit people, hit their kids, hit their pets, is really high and quite common. And that’s… so, you’re not only protecting yourself for a potential for the building were to have a collapse, but also, and more so, for all those things that are even more common, that can happen in even smaller earthquakes. The guidance is to drop where you are, so that you’re not knocked down – that’s another source of injuries – that you’re immediately protecting yourself and making yourself a smaller target as possible, that you’re protecting your vital organs. You’re on your hands and knees, and you’re immediately putting at least one hand and arm up and over your head and neck. Not just on your neck, but your arm is high up towards the top of your head as possible, so that it is really blocking your head, if something were to come at it. And then, if you are nearby a table or desk, then to crawl to that, for additional shelter and hold on to it, in case it starts to move around. So, that’s the drop, cover, and hold on procedure, that is recommended, and it’s what we encourage people to practice during shakeout.

[TODD DEVOE] That is really important, to understand that and to do that. Especially the hold on part, because you don’t want to just drop under a table and have that table shake away from you, you know?

EM Weekly Episode 32 The Great Shakeout with Mark Benthien

[MARK BENTHIAEM] That’s right. And I should add, I should add that we have videos, we have animations, we have documents at earthquakecountry.org/step5. So, the step 5 is, up to seven steps to earthquake safety. What to do before, during, and after. But you can find the whole set at earthquakecountry.org/7steps, all one word. Of course, links from the homepage there too. And step 5 is what to do during the shaking. And we have a number of resources available from there, for all different audiences about what to do to protect themselves during earthquakes. And we’ve been making something called the earthquake safety video series, so different videos, showing what to do if you’re in a room, and there is a table nearby. Or if there is not a table nearby, which, in that case, you get next to. An interior wall, you know, away from windows. And, in that sense, you have that wall protecting you from one side, so that you’re limiting your exposure from things that might be flying to only the side that is away from the wall. And if things are falling, they might fall and hit at an angle. So, we have a lot of resources there, of course, on the shakeout.org website. And we are really encouraging people to participate in the shakeout earthquake drills. The International Shakeout Day, as we call it, is on October 29th this year, in 2017. It’s the third Thursday of October each year, that was set back in 2009, as the best timeframe of the year for schools, in particular, which are the largest participants in shakeout drills. It’s not too early in their school year, but it’s not towards the end, where by practicing, then summer comes and then the students and teachers are all in new arrangements in that next year. So, having it earlier in the year. And then also having it on a weekday, always. If we stayed on a particular date, then soon it would be on a weekend.

[TODD DEVOE] Right.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] So, it’s always the third Thursday of October, October 29th this year. In 2018, it will be October 18th. So, we ask people to participate there, not only for their own safety, and preparedness. But with other people, and to let other people know about their participation. So, it gets back to that social science research. So, we ask people to register, that they’re participating, and that’s how we have a count. Currently, if you go to Shakeout.org and scroll down, you can see all the regions, states, multi-state regions, and other countries that are participating. And we have the current totals there, always right now. For Thursday, October 29th, the global total of participation is well over 18.9 million.

[TODD DEVOE] Wow.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Total for the year, 38.5 million, with drills that have happened in other dates. For example, Utah, because their schools are out of session on that third Thursday of October each year, they have their drill in April, they have over a million participants. And other countries have drills that, for example, the strange coincidence of the Mexico City earthquake, that caused so much damage, happened a few hours after Mexico City had a big earthquake drill that they normally have, that is commemorating the 1985 earthquake, of September 19th. So, they had just done an earthquake drill, and then they had their earthquake. And I should say, Mexico City, because of its unique nature and the type of earthquakes that typically cause damage there, which are farther away along the coast, but cause strong shaking in Mexico City because of the way that the ground beneath Mexico City, well, used to be a lake bed, and it amplifies the shaking. And so, they typically are able to have over a minute of warning from their early warning system that they have, that detects an earthquake at the coast, sends an alarm to Mexico City. And so, they do practice building evacuation as their procedure. This earthquake that happened on September 29th was much closer, and that early warning system was less effective in that way, and people likely, couldn’t believe that just after doing an earthquake drill, that this alert they were getting was real.

[TODD DEVOE] Right.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] So, it’s really complicated, in that type of messaging and different environments. But even around the world, especially if you’re high up in a building, you’re just not gonna have time to get out. So, putting yourself under a table or a desk is recommended.

[TODD DEVOE] Basically, we’re saying, the messages that we wanna get out to everybody is duck, cover, hold on. Wait for the shaking to stop, and then evacuate if you need to, right? We’re not recommending to just evacuate buildings.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Right. You wanna drop, cover, and hold on. And if you know you’re in a particularly vulnerable building, and that’s something you can figure out in advance; and if you have any sign of cracks on the walls, or anything visible, or certainly, of course, that’s just in any situation, if there seems to be a fire underway, you definitely want to evacuate. If you are in a newer building, that could become, maybe built since the mid 70’s, when building codes were greatly improved, that becomes something to… more of an option. If you don’t have any indication that the building has suffered any structural damage, then evacuating may cause more issues, especially for people with disabilities, or depending on, you know, who is there with you, then not. And one issue, often with evacuation, is where you’re evacuating to. Is there space outside the building, away from the building, that you can get far enough away, that if things were falling off the building, even after the shaking stops, that you wouldn’t be putting yourself in a dangerous location? So, that’s the other reason why we recommend drop, cover, hold on, rather than evacuation during shaking. Is that even when buildings don’t collapse, façades, bricks, window glass, parapets, other features on the exterior of a building, often do fall off. We saw this in videos from Mexico City and elsewhere. There’s a picture I have in mind of a building from the Nepal earthquake, where it was a brick building, and that one side of the brick building, basically, fell off, and was piled in the street. But you could look inside, and you could see each living room, where the TV and the bookshelves, and everything looked like nothing had happened. They weren’t fallen to the ground. So, the building was still standing. But if you had rushed out during that shaking, you would have been crushed under a pile of bricks. So, it’s really a challenging situation to have, some sort of one-size-fits-all message, and drop, cover, hold on is something like that. But we do have a lot of different variations on the theme of protecting yourself, making yourself a smaller target, and holding on to where you are during the shaking, listed and explained on earthquakecountry.org/step5. Including what to do. So, for example, different ways that you protect yourself in different situations, including what to do if you’re driving, what to do if you’re in bed, what to do if you’re at a store, etc. And we have those explained. What to do if you’re in a wheelchair, we actually call “lock, cover, and hold on.” Lock your wheels, cover your neck and head, if possible, hold on. And you know, earthquake safety for people with disabilities is just so much more complicated, and it really comes down to pre-planning, practicing with your support team, those around you knowing what to do to assist you during an earthquake. You know, you don’t wanna see someone in a wheelchair and go grab them and pull them down under the table with you. That’s not the appropriate thing to do.

[TODD DEVOE] Right.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] If they’re asking you, and if you’ve discussed that with them, or whatever that plan is. But it all is basically under the theme of: things are going to be falling in your environment, you need to protect yourself from those things, and figuring out what the best way to do it is.

[TODD DEVOE] Let’s take a quick break here, and then when we come back, I wanna talk a little bit about prevention. All right, welcome back from the break. Mark, so before we went on a break, I said we wanted to talk a little bit about prevention. So, I know that at my house, and I’ll go back to that little earthquake we had. I’m crazy about putting that earthquake putty, like in the museum. Museum putty, so you really can’t see it. It drives my wife crazy, because when she wants to dust and stuff like that, it kind of gets in the way, she can’t move things, and she gets mad at me. But during that little earthquake, everything that had the museum putty on it, stayed. The only thing that broke was this vase that was there, that fell off the shelf and broke. So, the earthquake putty, the museum putty, it did its job. So, what kind of resources do you guys have for prevention and preparedness, I should say? We actually can’t prevent earthquakes, right? So, preparedness for earthquakes.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] So, our guidance is organized according to the seven steps to earthquake safety. And you can find that at earthquakecountry.org. That’s the site of the Earthquake Country Alliance. And the seven steps to earthquake safety include four steps of what to do before an earthquake were to happen. Two steps, during the danger situation, what to do to protect yourself during shaking and what to do in the immediate time afterwards, where there may be glass that’s been broken swiped up, or gas lines turned off, fires put out, etc. And then, there’s one step for recovery, and that’s step seven. But the steps one through four start with: step one, secure your space. So it’s what you were just talking about, Todd. It’s securing items so they won’t fall, projectiles won’t cause further damage or injury. And that including strapping top heavy furniture to the walls, strapping water heaters. And there’s appropriate ways to do that, and we have the instructions on the website. We have a list of something like, thirty items, thirty different types of ways to secure things. It also includes putting quake hold putty, or museum wax, under small objects. Straps on furniture, in addition to big screen TVs, computer monitors, microwaves. All the things that might fall and cause injury. It’s really important to understand that. In a large earthquake, the entire ground for hundreds of square miles is shaking up and down and sideways. There is nothing in your home that’s riding that bucking bronco. That can be falling over, or literally being thrown. And really, it’s kinda like, the ground shifting, and it appearing like some of those objects are being thrown, it’s really the ground that’s shifting the other way, and the object is kind of being where it’s at, but it’s looking like it’s coming right at you. Like, it’s very complicated.

[TODD DEVOE] Right.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] But it can really happen. But some people say, well, that top heavy… you know, that armoire that you have, or that desk, whatever it is that they think is… that piano, you know? If you have one of those tall-type pianos. All these things that seem like, “Oh, they’re too heavy, they’re not going to be able to move.” They really can. And there are ways that you can secure these items. Kitchen cabinets. We think of child-proofing cabinets where you put different types of lashes that are available on the lower cabinet, so that kids can’t get into them. Well, for earthquakes, you wanna secure the upper cabinets, so that they don’t have their contents thrown out all over the kitchen floor. Which is important for many reasons, in terms of preparedness. You don’t obviously want those items hitting people, glass, things coming out and hitting people. But also, the mess that is, all the broken glass. But also for food that you might have in your cupboard set, might be in glass containers, you know, jars and such, that you would lose if it was broken. And yet, you’d need after an earthquake. So, there’s all these different types of actions that are listed there. So, that’s what we call step one, secure your space. Secure things so they won’t fall on you. Next step, we say, step two, we call “plan to be safe.” So, this is kind of two main areas, it’s having your communication plans, and also, having a disaster plan for where you’ll meet, and for all the different activities that you wanna consider in a plan. The training that you wanna take in advance, so that it will be a better resource for your family, for your community, whether it’s CERT training, or simple, you know, kind of CPR type training. You know, these things are really key. And having that known by those, you need to be coordinating with, when a disaster happens, which might be your family. Family, friends, co-workers. All these aspects are really important for employers to be considering, not just in the work place, but also encouraging their employees to be prepared in these ways at home, so that they’re either able to stay at work, if the earthquake happens while they’re at work, and perform vital functions that might be needed. Not worrying as much about what’s going on at home, or if the earthquake happened and they’re at home, that they’re able to handle what needs to be handled there and then come in to work, to handle what needs to be handled there. So, these are key things. So, all that planning in advance, it’s all really about just talking with each other. Step three, we say it’s organize disaster supplies. So, that’s fairly obvious types of things that you need to have for any disaster. And we have detailed information there. Step four, we can call minimized financial hardship. And this really handles three different areas that we recommend. One, that possible to be looking at the structure that you’re in, and what can be done to improve it, to do retrofitting, whether it’s simple things, or more comprehensive. At least learning about what’s needed, and developing a plan and strategy for making that happen. Of course, earthquake insurance is another option for repairing any damage that happens. But of course, the less damage you have in the first place, the better. And then finally, a more low-cost option, making sure that you have organized your kind of important documents, that you would need if you’re not able to get into your home, for example, and having copies of those. Insurance, copies of prescriptions, really key when power is out for a long time, and the internet maybe, that you need a prescription, and you can’t go to your pharmacy, because they don’t have… or your pharmacy can’t give it to you, because the online systems are offline, and no power, and that you have a printed copy of prescriptions. These types of documents, organizing those in advance. So, those are kind of the ways that we organize what to do to be prepared for earthquakes.

[TODD DEVOE] I know that on the shakeout.org, you have the earthquake game, I think it’s on there? That’s where I played it before, where you have to get your little house ready for the earthquake. At least, the link is there. And things like that that make it kind of fun for the family. You know, get the kids thinking about it, and it’s not as… again, we’re not preparing in a scary way, we’re preparing in a funny way to see how… who can quickly prepare their little apartment there, before the earthquake…

[MARK BENTHIAEM] I think what you’re referring to is our “Beat the Quake” game.

[TODD DEVOE] Yes.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Where you see a living room set up, and there are a number of items that you click on, and select from a list of ways to secure those items, so they won’t fall during earthquakes. There’s also some fire aspects there, so they won’t be a fire hazard. And you have a limited amount of time, you have a little bit of a context, to see how many you can do in that time period, how many things you can secure correctly. So yeah, so you can find that on the shakeout.org website, on… into Regions, in the lower right, where it says, “Play and Share”. And that’s right, we do try to not have shakeout be something that’s seen as scary, or quite serious. We encourage people to really look at it as a community organizing type of activity, and to a certain degree, have fun with it. We have people who make their own shirts, and give prizes, and gifts, and hide things under people’s desks, so that when they… like, a workplace environment. So, when they go there, they’re finding candy bars, or raffle tickets, or maybe even movie tickets. These types of things that really try to have the practice of earthquake safety being something that isn’t scary, even though the actual earthquake will be. But that you’re practicing, when you’re calm, and able to really figure out how to protect yourself, and are much more ready when it actually happens.

[TODD DEVOE] So, before we let you go, we’re coming close to the end here. I know that you guys have produced a movie that you guys are gonna put out for, I guess, next year. Can you talk a little bit about that, and what your plans are with that production?

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Yes. So, this got started for the 20th anniversary of the North Ridge earthquake, which that earthquake happened in 1994. We did a number of interviews with people about their experiences, and we really saw that those were just to be on our website, on little clips. But we saw that there were some great stories of what people did to help each other, particularly. So, we have put together with FEMA’s support, and a number of other partners, Simpson Strong-Tie, and the Hero, A New Foundation, Safety Proof, State Farm, other partners, helping us to create this video. It’s really a documentary, about 50 minutes long, and the focus of it is telling people’s stories and having those people say what we really need to be doing to be safe. And it’s really a fantastic project. We hope to have it be available publicly in the spring 2018. It will have sort of lesson plans, for a classroom education kit, for high school. Students to be really seeing what can happen in a big earthquake, even in California, young people have not experienced a major earthquake. So, really understanding what can happen, why exercises like Shakeout are key, and also, encouraging participation and the formation or team CERT programs. So, it’s a whole program, and the documentary is called Quake Heroes, and we will definitely be promoting it, it’s something that people can participate in events, where it will be shown, and perhaps at college campuses, or community groups, or large companies, or something that maybe a city or county emergency management agency might want to host a big event, where people can watch the film, and then sign up for CERT, and buy supplies, and talk to scientists. So, we’re ramping all this up as really, for the lead up to next year’s Shakeout.

[TODD DEVOE] That’s some great stuff, I’m really excited about everything that you guys are doing, so thank you so much. So, if somebody wanted to get a hold of you, you know, to get more information. We’re gonna put, by the way, everybody, when we’re talking about the websites, if you don’t have your pencil with you, we’re gonna put all that information down at the show notes, so you’ll be able to click those links just straight from the website, from EMWeekly.com. So, don’t worry about that. But if you do have your pen and pencil, you could have it ready. So Mark, how can people get a hold of you, if they want more information?

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Well, you can go to the website I mentioned, Shakeout.org, and look for your particular state or multi-state region, where you’re located in. They’ll have customized resources for you. And register to participate in Shakeout. While the third Thursday of October is the main date, you can have your Shakeout drill registered at any day of the year. And EarthquakeCountry.org is really where we have the seven steps to earthquake safety, and you can follow those, and we have a variety of resources about those. To reach out and contact more directly, you can email info@shakeout.org, and that will get to me.

[TODD DEVOE] Well, Mark, you’re busy. You’re getting ready for the Shakeout for 10/19. And I know it’s gonna be an exciting day and a busy day for you, so thank you for taking time out of your day today to talk about earthquakes, and the great shakeout with EM Weekly. For those of you out there that are listening today, please take time and go to your iTunes, and just tell us how we’re doing. And if you have any ideas that you’d like to hear about what we’re doing, you can go ahead and contact us at Ask Todd at the EMWeekly.com website. Thank you guys so much, and Mark, it was a pleasure talking to you.

[MARK BENTHIAEM] Thanks, Todd!

Links

www.shakeout.org

www.earthquakecountry.org

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2 thoughts on “EP 32 The Great ShakeOut with Mark Benthien”

  1. This was a great interview and very informative episode. I grew up as an Army brat and traveled all over the US as a kid. But, my Mom’s side of the family is from California and for as long as I can remember we’ve always visited Southern California in between moves. Now, I live here and am going back to school to get my degree in Emergency Management. I never really thought about what training and precautions are out there for earthquakes until I heard this podcast. I did participate in the Great Shakeout with Mike Colver at Coastline College. Working as his assistant I witnessed firsthand what the Shakeout is all about. Due to the heat, Coastline did not require its students or staff to evacuate their respective buildings. However, all alarms and information delivery systems were tested and worked. From the outside looking in, I saw how important the alert components (to phones and emails) were and the physical alarms on campus. From an emergency operators stand point, synchronizing texts, emails to students/staff, and physical alarms on site at each campus can be difficult. Making sure all aspects of your alert system are synchronized and working is a key component to the Shakeout Drill. We were successful at all three alert delivery systems but had a few volume issues at one campus that is in the works of being fixed now.

    One thing I did not learn about until listening to this podcast, was the 7 steps available on earthquakecountry.org. The information available on this site could easily save your life in an earthquake. Not being a true California native, I haven’t been exposed to earthquake emergency preparedness. But now that I am here, I will learn and prepare for all 7 steps listed. It is so critical to know what to do during an earthquake and to have planned for one in advance. This podcast and the resources it presented will be the cornerstones I use to ensure my emergency preparedness for any future earthquakes. Thank you Todd and Mike for the potentially lifesaving information you gave to us listeners in this podcast.

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