Office of the City Manager

Pasadenans Encouraged to Drop, Cover and Hold on Thursday

October 13, 2009

Media Contact:
Lisa Derderian
Fire Department

(626) 744-7276


 As the region prepares for a major earthquake drill Thursday, Oct. 15, at 10:15 a.m., the city of Pasadena encourages all local residents and workers to drop, cover and hold on. 

The second annual Great Southern California ShakeOut will help everyone learn how to survive the magnitude 7.8 earthquake seismology experts predict will cause devastating damage in our lifetime.

Thursday’s scenario is based on scientists’ best predictions of what would actually occur during and after a major earthquake on the San Andreas Fault.  Although it is invented for the purpose the drill, in this scenario 1,800 people will be killed, 50,000 will be injured, there will be $200 billion in damages and the region will experience long-lasting social and economic consequences.

Pasadena residents, businesses, institutions, non-profit organizations, the faith community and others are encouraged to take part in this crucial exercise by registering at www.shakeout.org and learning more information at that website.  All Pasadena city employees will participate in the drill as well.

“At 10:15 a.m. Thursday, simply drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and cover your head with your arms, and then hold on for about 30 seconds,” said Pasadena Fire Chief Dennis Downs.  “While you’re on the ground, think about what objects in your home or office might go flying off shelves during a major earthquake and what you would be doing in

the moments after an actual major earthquake happens.”

Anyone who cannot drop to the ground due to disabilities should go next to an internal wall and stay there.

 Part of what everyone will learn is the importance of the Drop, Cover and Hold On method for earthquake survival.  Studies and experience in the U.S. and throughout the world have shown that this method is the only viable means of survival.

The controversial – and now debunked – Triangle of Life position that has been circulating on the Internet has been proven to be unsafe during an earthquake. It is based on assumptions that each building will completely collapse and that there automatically will be a specific pocket of safety in a specific location of each building. 

Accurate emergency preparedness information can be found at a number of official websites including www.shakeout.org, www.dropcoverholdon.org and www.cityofpasadena.net/disaster.

 For more information about emergency preparedness in Pasadena visit www.cityofpasadena.net/disaster or call (626) 744-7276.

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Posted: 10/13/2009 03:30:00 PM
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