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Op-ed: UCLA community should participate in Great ShakeOut to prepare for earthquakes

Royce Hall is pictured. The Great ShakeOut on Oct. 19 will provide UCLA students with earthquake preparedness. (Daily Bruin file photo)

By Lisa Martin

Oct. 12, 2023 9:00 p.m.

October is Bruin Earthquake Awareness Month, and in the case of an unexpected natural disaster, there is no question that practice and preparation can save lives. Thinking through an action plan in advance helps you stay calmer and more focused when the real event occurs – and in Southern California, it is critical for all of us to be prepared for a number of possibilities, including earthquakes.

At 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, UCLA staff, students and faculty are asked to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” during the Great ShakeOut – also known as the world’s largest virtual earthquake drill. ShakeOut is a chance for our Bruin community to practice its response to an earthquake while UCLA conducts a test of the BruinALERT emergency notification system. UCLA’s Office of Emergency Management will send a BruinALERT announcing the drill Thursday at 10:19 a.m. via text and email.

Please be sure you are signed up to receive text alerts and that your contact information is up to date by visiting the BruinALERT site. Without this critical step, UCLA cannot notify you fully in the event of an emergency.

In an actual emergency, when you receive a BruinALERT, you are asked to visit Bruins Safe Online for more information. We recommend bookmarking the site – your primary source of verified information from the Office of Emergency Management during emergencies – and sharing it with family and friends who may want to be informed about emergency events at UCLA.

Emergency preparedness and response rely on having the best information available in a timely manner. During wildfires, spills, active shooter situations and more, it is critical that you take a few minutes to connect with all available – and accurate – resources. I strongly encourage all Bruins to download the Bruins Safe app, which provides quick access to response information for potential emergency scenarios and critical campus safety features such as UCLA Escorts and Safe Ride. Download it from either Google Play or the Apple Store. The app also gives easy access to info from BruinALERT’s account on X, formerly known as Twitter, and the BSO.

Visit the Office of Emergency Management’s website for content on planning for and responding to emergency events. Wherever you are, I hope you will practice your “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” skills for one minute Thursday. Links to the ShakeOut drill are available in English and Spanish so that you can practice at any time. In addition, safety information can be found on the Office of Emergency Management’s Facebook, its account on X, and Instagram accounts all year round. I also invite you to reach out by email if you have any questions or suggestions throughout the year.

As always, stay safe and be prepared!

Lisa A. Martin is the director of the UCLA Office of Emergency Management.

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