Published March 16, 2010
Volume 18, Number 3

‘SHAKE 2010’ Earthquake Exercise Comes to Hacienda the Week of April 26 

There is no doubt that we are in a period of increased seismic activity globally, observes Howard Hicks, of Emergency Management Services Co. (EMS), an expert in disaster planning. It is a physical certainty that here in northern California we will experience an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude or greater, “probably sooner than later,” Hicks cautions.

Despite warnings of this type, at many levels we are still not prepared to deal with the conditions that follow such a catastrophic event, he continues. One remedy is the “SHAKE 2010” Earthquake Exercise, designed to help Hacienda facilities become more self-sufficient in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster, and to resume normal operations with minimal interruption.

EMS will be conducting the earthquake preparedness exercise throughout Hacienda during the week of April 26. The “SHAKE 2010” Earthquake Exercise is “an educational, realistic, and fun earthquake response simulation,” says Hicks. It entails three levels of activity: the three-minute employee “Duck and Cover” and regrouping drill; the 15-minute Floor Warden review; and the building management wrap-up.

Here is how the program works. At a specified date and time, the Floor Warden initiates the drill, instructing employees to assume the “Duck and Cover” position underneath their desks or cubicles. They remain there for one minute, after which the warden leads them to a safe area away from windows and the building perimeter. This can be an interior room of the tenant suite, the building core, a corridor wall, or an elevator lobby. Employees remain there for two minutes in anticipation of aftershocks, and then return to work and continue their normal duties and responsibilities.

Floor wardens then have a wrap-up meeting, reviewing the simulated earthquake damage scenario they received by email, discussing how to respond to the mock incidents, and documenting their response on a damage assessment form, which is then forwarded to the Property Manager.

Finally, the building management staff review and discuss all the damage assessment scenarios. For further realism, they prioritize where the most significant damages and resources are needed, and disseminate personnel accordingly. The Pleasanton Police Department will also be available to act as an additional resource during the exercise.

Full participation in the “SHAKE 2010” Earthquake Exercise requires a Floor Warden program, which calls for one warden and one alternate for each tenant space on multi-tenant floors; and two wardens and two alternates on single-tenant floors. Floor Warden names and contact data should be on file with the Building Manager. EMS is offering the earthquake exercise as a free service to those projects with established Floor Warden programs.

Businesses or facilities without an existing Floor Warden program can elect to participate in the “Duck & Cover” segment of the exercise. EMS will offer a special discounted rate to Hacienda projects to develop a Floor Warden program if they are interested in implementing the full “Shake 2010” drill. In addition to conducting Floor Warden training and fire drills at many buildings throughout Pleasanton, EMS has produced Hacienda’s emergency procedure manual, available online at www.hacienda.org/order/order_security.html.

Tenants wishing to participate in “SHAKE 2010” can call the Hacienda Owners Association’s office at (925) 734-6500 or send an email to info@hacienda.org. Hicks and his associate Jeff Lapin also assist in developing individualized facility Emergency Response Programs, with a special discounted rate available to business park tenants. To contact the company, email Howard Hicks at howardhhicks@aol.com or Jeff Lapin at jeff@cpconsulting.org.


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