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Barstow to participate in the Great California Shakeout on Oct. 17
BARSTOW • Barstow Fire Protection District chief Rich Ross has worked tirelessly in efforts to aware the public about earthquake safety.
Ross has been spearheading the efforts and said the city will be active in exercises along with the fire district and the Community Emergency Response Team to bolster emergency preparedness and response.
The Barstow city council approved this week to participate in the Great California Shakeout on Oct. 17. The statewide drill is scheduled to take place 10:17 a.m., where participants are asked to “drop, cover and hold.”
Ross said the drill will be used as practice to go over policies and procedures. Ross feels it is important to prepare regularly because event though earthquakes are somewhat rare, they still pose a significant threat to the community.
“Earthquake preparedness safety is very important because earthquakes are inevitable,” Ross said. “In the event of a disaster, residents certainly want to have water, food and cash on standby. We want to encourage our community to be as prepared as possible. By participating in the drill, you can learn how to manager your own family and home in an event such as a disastrous earthquake.”
Ross said the CERT is active in the community, but the goal is to have a CERT member in every neighborhood in Barstow.
The CERT program will also run a simulated disaster at the corner of Agate Road and Walnut Street, on Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to Ross, it will be an opportunity to practice disaster skills with the community and the public is encouraged to attend.
Learning how to prepare your home for a earthquake is important to anybody living in the county because of the San Andreas fault, Ross said.
According to a news release from San Bernardino County, in preparation for the shakeout, the county is asking residents to “secure your space.”
San Bernardino County office of Emergency Services Manager Michael Antonucci stated on the release that shakeout drills are an opportunity to practice how to be safer during earthquakes.
“It is proven that the more you practice during a non-emergency, the more likely you will be able to perform the correct action in a real emergency,” Antonucci stated. “Shakeout drills allow families, employers, schools and individuals to practice for the earthquake that will occur.”
“Secure your space” is one of the seven steps to earthquake safety developed by the Earthquake Country Alliance. Most injuries during an earthquake are caused by falling or flying objects, the release states, and can be prevented or reduced by identifying hazards in advance and securing movable objects.
Aside from Barstow’s office personnel, Ross said the surrounding school districts will participate in the drill to become safer and prepare for emergency.
Jeff Malan, Barstow Unified School District Superintendent, confirmed the district’s participation in the statewide drill.
“Any disaster drill is always important to our district; we take it all very serious,” Malan said.
Malan said at 10:17 a.m., the entire district will simulate a major earthquake and anybody on campus, including visitors, will have to follow all the safety procedures.
For more information on the shakeout in the county, visit www.sbcfire.org/oes/shakeout.aspx.