Southern California shook over the Independence Day weekend with two earthquakes, the first a 6.4 magnitude on July 4 and a second registering at 7.1 on July 5.
The quakes were centered near the community of Ridgecrest in Kern County. While the earthquakes were felt across much of Southern California, Cal Poly Pomona did not have any damages to report. However, the tremors offer a chance for the campus community to get prepared for the possibility of future emergencies, said Ernie Fierro, interim manager for emergency management and business continuity.
“The earthquakes that have hit Ridgecrest this past week really serve as a wakeup call to every individual regarding the level of preparedness for all disasters,” Fierro said. “We in California always have to be prepared since earthquakes give no warning. Other parts of the country deal with different types of disasters that usually have a specific season or weather reports forecasting storms in advance, which allows people time to prepare.”
The university does its part to help keep the campus community safe.
In the case of a major earthquake or other emergency, Cal Poly Pomona will send Safety Alert messages to the university community via text/SMS, email and telephone, as well as post messages on the university home page and Emergency Management website. Everyone in the campus community should check their emergency contact information to make sure it is current so that they will receive the alerts. Those experiencing an emergency on campus can call University Police at 909-869-3070 or dial 9-1-1 from a campus phone.
Cal Poly Pomona also will participate in the Great California ShakeOut, a campus-wide evacuation drill that is set for Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m.
The university is prepared to respond to an earthquake, but it is always prudent to have water and a flashlight on hand. Other tips include knowing the safe spots in your office, apartment or residence hall room, making sure furniture and items on your shelves and walls are secure, and keeping a list of emergency phone numbers handy.
Additional earthquake preparedness tips are available on Ready.gov.
Emergency preparedness kits also are sold on campus at various locations.
“Even though we cannot prevent earthquakes from happening, we can mitigate the damage and reduce the chance of loss of life,” Fierro said. “Emergency Preparedness starts with each individual, we cannot rely on others to come to our rescue. A quote that sums it all up is ‘Noah did not build the ark when it was raining.’”