Campus & community, Campus news

Campus gets ready for the big one, with Great ShakeOut on Thursday

At 10:20 a.m., sirens will signal the beginning of a campuswide exercise to sharpen readiness for a big earthquake.

Great California Shakeout

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the UC Berkeley campus will participate in the Great California ShakeOut, a statewide day of events designed to encourage Californians to prepare for major earthquakes and other emergencies.

Great Shakeout

Checking off names at last year’s Great California ShakeOut drill on campus.

At 10:20 a.m., campus warning sirens will sound. Members of the campus community are encouraged to practice sheltering under a desk and holding tight. Instructors and students in class need not participate in this exercise. Also at 10:20 a.m., UCPD will facilitate a test of the campus mass notification system, Nixle/WarnMe. Campus community members with a email address will receive a test notification via email; individuals who have signed up for urgent text alerts will receive an additional notification via text message.

For the ShakeOut, the campus will practice other key aspects of emergency-response and evacuation procedures. At Morrison Hall, Hargrove Music Library and Moses Hall, occupants will practice “drop, cover and hold on” at 10:20 a.m., then evacuate the building to test building emergency procedures, including departmental roll call.

Radio communication between campus building coordinators and emergency management area coordinators will also be tested. A key component of the campus emergency response, this system is designed to strengthen the ability to effectively and efficiently facilitate a campuswide evacuation.

A free emergency-preparedness mobile app — offering Berkeley-specific tips and guidance for earthquakes, power outages, and other situations — is available from the campus Office of Emergency Management. Visit the OEM website for download instructions and other emergency-related resources.

Members of the campus community are also encouraged to sign up for urgent text alerts via the WarnMe website. Text messages are the fastest way to receive notification in an emergency, and it’s recommended that they be designated as one’s first alert priority.