Earthquake drill on Thursday will test campus emergency preparedness

UC Berkeley’s annual emergency preparedness drill will take place this Thursday morning (June 17), with more than 700 people participating in activities both indoors and outdoors across the campus and in nearby areas.

The “Vigilance 2010″ drill, organized by the campus’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The exercise is designed to ensure that the campus is ready to respond to a major emergency.

This year’s scenario involves a magnitude 5.5 earthquake on the Hayward fault that leads to a hazardous material spill on campus. During the drill, onlookers may see campus medical staff caring for “injured” students in the University Health Services parking lot; emergency inspection teams entering buildings; and throngs of students and staff “evacuating” campus buildings and some residence halls.

An Alameda County fire truck will pull up next to the UCPD’s mobile command center vehicle; the campus’s Alert & Warning System sirens will sound at the start and the end of the drill; and the campus’s WarnMe alert system will send e-mail or phone messages to a select group of WarnMe subscribers.

Other drill participants will include the Chancellor’s Emergency Policy Group; the campus Emergency Operations Center; eight campus units, including the Office of Public Affairs, that will function as Department Operations Centers; and various colleges and schools across the campus. The Haas School of Business, the College of Chemistry, and some fraternities, are among campus groups that have elected to use this occasion to test their own evacuation procedures and other emergency response plans.

All members of the campus community are encouraged to sign up for WarnMe and to view emergency preparedness tips.