We supposedly had a drill to prepare for a massive earthquake today where I work, a major West Coast university. It caused quite the flutter among staff as we went back and forth over what signage to have, whether we should get under our desks to practice “duck and cover” for this pretend temblor, whether we would make visitors to our facility do the same, and whether we would participate in the “evacuation.”
Yep, that last part would entail having us leave our offices to line up and march to a designated gathering place, just like it was the end of recess in grammar school.
This had to be one of the dumbest exercises I’ve ever seen, probably proposed by some resume-building hack as a “consciousness raising” measure. In the end, it was useless.
Look, I support disaster preparedness, but real preparedness, not this Doctor Feelgood nonsense. Anyone who’s lived in an active earthquake zone knows to duck under some hard cover and stay away from windows during a quake. These Romper-Room games do nothing.
If they want real preparedness, then get staff certified in first aid, emergency response, and evacuation procedures — and pay them commensurately. Pay for storage lockers and supply them with enough food, water, and other emergency supplies to last the standard three days in which we might be without outside help.
Do that, and then I’ll think you’re serious about getting ready for the Big One.