News Release Archive
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 12, 2008
College Participates in Great Southern California ShakeOut Drill
Who: College of the Canyons staff, faculty, some students.
What: College of the Canyons will participate to the extent feasible in the regional Great Southern California ShakeOut drill.
When: The drill is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008. On-campus activities related to the drill should last between 15 minutes and one hour.
Where: The entire College of the Canyons Valencia campus.
Why: College of the Canyons takes very seriously its role in responding to emergencies on campus and ensuring the safety of faculty, staff, students and visitors to the campus. Currently, the administration is developing plans for both the Valencia and Canyon Country campuses to cover a variety of emergency situations. The development of these plans call for formats that are consistent with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the State Emergency Management System (SEMS).
Since an earthquake is one of the more likely threats to safety on campus, it is timely and appropriate for the college to participate in this regional drill and everyone on campus can benefit from practicing and discussing the standardized procedures that we have in place.
How: Over the course of the last several days, informational messages have been sent internally to faculty and staff regarding the on campus events of the day and how we would like everyone to react. Here are some of the key elements:
- We have asked faculty to conduct discussions in their classrooms at 10 am about procedures that should be followed by everyone in the event of an earthquake. Discussion points have been provided for faculty so that consistent information can be disseminated.
- The campus has been divided into a system of nine quadrants with staff assigned Quadrant Chief, Building Captain, Floor Warden and other response-oriented duties. When the drill begins, an incident command center will be opened and communications will be tested between that center and key areas of the campus where hypothetical damage has occurred.
- On Wednesday, the incident commander emailed a Workspace Inspection Check Sheet to all areas of the campus so that individuals can inspect the areas in which they work and identify earthquake hazards such as falling hazards, tripping hazards, fire hazards, and the like. Remedial action will be taken in response to these compiled lists in ensuing days and weeks.
- A beta-test of the college’s new text messaging system will be conducted for the first time with a pre-selected group of students. These pre-selected students will report any anomalies in the system for future correction.
- At least one building will be completely evacuated in real time to test those procedures and to drill building inspection teams in criteria for a safe return to a potentially compromised building.
- In all exercises of this nature, we are open to learning things that we haven’t thought about, so we are encouraging all participants to provide constructive criticism in the form of recommendations for improved procedures. This process will take from several days to several weeks as we fine-tune existing procedures and develop new ones.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Since we are exercising our NIMS and SEMS response organizations and since, in a real world scenario we would be dealing with potential hazardous locations and situations on our campus, media access to the campus and the various aspects of this exercise will be managed by the Public Information Office. If you intend to have reporters and/or photographers covering this story, they MUST contact Sue Bozman or Bruce Battle at (661) 362-5604; (661) 362-3432; or (661) 362-3415. Sue Bozman can also be reached on her cell phone at (818) 292-0801.
For more information about the Great Southern California ShakeOut Drill go to http://www.shakeout.org.