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The Great ShakeOut – 2014

The Great ShakeOut – 2014
 

More than 10.4 million people in California and 26.4 million across the globe signed up to take part in the 2014 Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill last month.  If you did not participate, either with your family at home, with colleagues at your worksite or with the businesses located at your commercial property, it is not too late to do so.  You have between now and the end of the year to register at shakeout.org.  Make the time practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” in the event of a major earthquake and make sure you have an earthquake preparedness plan in place at home and at work.  Nothing beats being prepared to survive the impact of strong seismic activity.  Even if you know all about the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill, it is important to run-through the steps regularly.  Earthquakes occur with no warning.  While most quakes on the West Coast are not very powerful, there is always the possibility that the next one could be a devastating mega-quake.  Without any warning, you will have just a few seconds to figure out what is happening in order to protect yourself and to take appropriate cover.  Planning and practice are needed to help you react quickly enough to survive.

As you go through a practice drill or perhaps even before the drill, take a look around to find the safe spaces that are close by.  Children are often taught to get under a desk in the classroom, however you can also look for sturdy furniture; another safe place, especially in a commercial building, might be up against an inside wall.  Get down to the ground so you don’t fall and make sure you protect your head.  It is in your best interest to have a place to go and a concrete safety plan in place before the ground starts to move.

Basic earthquake preparedness, at home and especially in commercial properties (offices, warehouses, factories, etc.), includes pinpointing potential hazards.  Equipment or other items that are unsecured (things that could easily move or fall when the earth starts to rock and roll) can either be identified before or during your practice ShakeOut drill.  When identified, it is important to anchor and secure the hazardous items found ASAP.  Once an earthquake begins, there will be no time to stop equipment from moving about or falling.

If you own or manage a commercial property, now is the time to improve safety conditions.  Consider securing the following now, before it is too late:

  • Warehouse racking systems that store goods and equipment
  • Book shelves
  • Office furniture, cabinets, computer and office equipment
  • Desk lamps and other lighting fixtures
  • Ceiling grids
  • Gas lines
  • Fire sprinklers
  • Hazardous chemicals located in storerooms and warehouses

There have been several devastating earthquakes around the globe in the last several years.  The property damage has be extensive, not to mention the fact that the loss of life and severe injuries have been difficult to even contemplate.  Residents in California could see comparable impacts throughout the state if an extremely powerful temblor occurs.  Research shows that more than 50% of all injuries related to an earthquake are caused by the unexpected movement of unsecured furniture and equipment or other items flying through the air.  Billions of dollars in property damage also happens when items are not secured.

Property owners and property managers should develop an emergency preparedness plan that includes regular “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drills and a plan to secure potential hazards.  In addition, their job is to ensure the security of the entire building structure.  If your San Bernadino building has not been through a seismic retrofit, now is the time to consider the maintenance necessary to strengthen your property.  The expert team at Saunders Commercial Seismic Retrofit will perform a thorough, multi-faceted assessment of your property to determine whether a commercial seismic retrofitting should be scheduled.  Call the experienced professionals at Saunders Commercial Seismic Retrofit with any questions about strengthening your San Bernadino commercial real estate before a mega temblor occurs.

Southern California Office

(949) 646-0034

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