The CSUN Department of Police Services held its Emergency Operations Center drill on Thursday during which President Dianne Harrison and Anne Glavin, CSUN chief of police, educated students on evacuation procedures through the reenactment of a press conference due to a severe earthquake.
The unique approach did more than bring to light standard earthquake procedures such as covering your head and neck and staying away from windows.
It allowed students to focus more on the steps that should be taken during the aftermath of a disaster.
During the first portion of the event, Glavin informed students of three fabricated deaths, evacuation locations, triage areas and emergency procedures as if this was a real-time incident stressing the school’s desire to, “…err on the side of extreme caution.”
It was apparent that along with safety, clearing and assessing parking structures is a priority during such a disaster especially since they collapsed during the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Following Glavin’s statement, Harrison took the podium to notify people of the designated family reunification site in parking lot G10 and the locations for medical care, shelter, food and restrooms provided for students and families.
“If this were a real situation today, my plan is to leave here right now and go and walk around, go to the recovery sites, talk to people and reassure that we’re doing everything we can.” “(I want to) give information and see for myself personally the extent of damage in our buildings,” Harrison said.
However, this event wasn’t only emergency preparation for the police department, it proved to be a helpful exercise for journalism students who were able to attend a mock press conference and ask questions regarding the earthquake. This was a realistic outline and raw experience for students illustrating how quickly and cautiously actions must be taken during an ongoing emergency.