by Jacob Duffy
Sounds pretty ridiculous considering we all live in New Mexico: one of the most unlikely places for an earthquake to occur in America. On October 16th, all schools in the United States at 10:16 am had earthquake drills consisting of simply crouching underneath desks, yes, just like those educational PSA videos about surviving nuclear attack in the sixties during the cold war. Personally, I don’t think hiding under a metal desk that I am already bigger than will save my life from a high school building collapsing on me or the ground below me splitting apart. Are these precautions really as helpful as people say they are or even necessary, for that matter? Why would something so useless and odd, considering our location, have to happen? …definitely something to question.
ShakeOut? Ever heard of it? If not, I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s the whole reason this drill happened in the first place. ShakeOut is an earthquake environmental drill for students in the U.S. and other earthquake prone areas like Japan, Guam, Yukon, and Puerto Rico. Beginning in 2008 in southern California as an effort from scientists and emergency managers to improve awareness of safety procedures in the event of an earthquake, ShakeOut is supported by the Earthquake Country Alliance, “a public-private partnership of people, organizations, and regional alliances that work together to improve preparedness, mitigation and resiliency'” and based at the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. According to the ShakeOut website, here in Central New Mexico, over 104,400 area organizations participated in today’s 2014 Great New Mexico ShakeOut. Oddly enough, this whole drill was put into place by an everyday organization picking up states and countries one by one.
So, is this a good cause for information we might, unfortunately, need one day? Or just another joke drill that actually won’t help us in our efforts to survive an earthquake if such a thing were to happen to us here at La Cueva?