Cal must prepare for earthquakes

While living and attending school in an earthquake-prone area such as San Francisco’s Bay Area, it is more than likely students have experienced a few earthquakes during classes. In-school drills prepare everyone on campus if an earthquake hits during school hours.
Although not a real earth-shaker, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake occurred in San Jose at 11:42 a.m. on Oct. 25. This was felt throughout San Ramon and by many Cal High students during their fourth period classes.
But nothing much was done about it. There was no announcement and no earthquake protocol followed even though classrooms moved. Many teachers and students simply continued on with their day.
It’s important to note that the earthquake wasn’t entirely ignored. Later that same day, assistant principal Sam McClymont sent an email titled CHS Emergency Drill Protocols, which highlighted the safety drill procedures at Cal. Among these was a “SHELTER” drill, which highlighted how to behave in case of an earthquake.
But when we attempted a shelter drill the next day, the procedure wasn’t exactly followed. In fact, there were many students and even full classrooms that didn’t participate in the drill at all, and could be seen walking around campus.
There are around 5,000 earthquakes annually in California, with a large number taking place around the Bay Area, according to While many of these are smaller scale earthquakes, it is still essential to be prepared and safe during these disasters, especially in a setting like school where we spend most of our days.
It’s clear administrators are taking some measures to attempt to be prepared in case of these disasters by sending emails about Cal’s emergency drill protocols. But a majority of those on campus still seems confused how to handle earthquakes and chose to ignore them.
As a school, earthquakes need to be taken more seriously. Natural disasters as consistent and dangerous as these have serious consequences in our state, and schools must be held responsible in anticipating earthquakes during school hours and preparing students for such.
A school-wide notice of earthquake drills is absolutely necessary when it comes to this. It will provide students and staff a preparation notice and encourage the entire school to understand the severity of earthquakes.
Considering how common earthquakes are in California, there must be increased and enforced education and awareness in preparation for these natural disasters. This way, everyone at Cal is assured to know what to do in case of an earthquake.