What’s Your Plan? A Skyline poll suggests that earthquake preparedness is concerning

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This month alone three earthquakes have rocked the Bay Area with a magnitude of at least 3.5. The first of these earthquakes had an epicenter 3.5 miles southwest of Colma, then a 4.5-magnitude quake rattled Pleasant Hill followed by a 4.7-magnitude near Hollister. With these quakes happening so close together as well as them getting stronger and lasting longer, It’s a possibility that a greater one can be in the near future.

With this in mind, The Skyline View recently held an informal poll of 63 students to see if they have any emergency plan or kit in place in case of a massive earthquake. We started by recollecting students memories from their elementary school days by asking them if they know what to do while an earthquake is happening, the old standard of Drop, Cover, and Hold On. 84 percent of our poll are aware of this procedure and some even listed it down on our poll sheets.

Of the results we found that just 33 percent of these students have a plan set in place if a major earthquake was to strike within the Bay Area. This is a bit alarming yet understandable considering that they can happen at any moment. Students are usually busy and on-the-go, which means they might not have a plan in whatever spot they are in.

The first key to being prepared is having an emergency preparedness kit in case you have to evacuate. The American Red Cross recommends having at least 15 required supplies that range from food, tools, copies of personal documents and medical supplies. Our poll results reveal that only 37 percent have an emergency kit inside their homes. It does not take much to make one as long as you have at least a gallon of water per day, a first aid kit, and a set of clothes.

In all only 14 students, amounting to only 22 percent of the poll have both an emergency plan in place as well as a kit inside their homes. A low number that shouldn’t reflect the rest of students on campus.

Finally, we also asked our students to see if they know the requirement of items necessary for an emergency kit. Those numbers came back with 40 students guessing correctly with 15 items. 

It’s crucial to be earthquake ready before an earthquake strikes. Creating a plan before it’s too late is vital in order to prepare, survive, and recover from an earthquake, which might be sooner than we possible think.