On the heels of the devastating impacts to our world including hurricanes in the South and two large earthquakes in Mexico, it is important for Horizon house staff to conduct safety drills. Horizon House excitedly participated with millions in The Great Washington ShakeOut on October 19! The Great Washington ShakeOut is a statewide opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” The ShakeOut has been organized to encourage people to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies and to learn how to prevent damage and injuries.
Staff began the morning by dropping, covering and holding underneath their desks when alerted by a faux earthquake alarm. Staff took cover under desks and doorways, and practiced keeping their heads safe from harm in the event of a real earthquake. Staff held these positions of safety until the “earthquake” passed.
After the “earthquake” passed, staff made their way to a pre-determined meeting point, where they were split into teams and given backpacks filled with emergency supplies and were sent around Horizon House’s 1-million square foot facility to search for (fake) injured residents, exposed wiring and other dangers that may have happened during the earthquake. Staff went floor-by-floor, radioing down any found oddities to the Incident Command Center (ICC), where our executive team put together a plan.
After the entire scenario had been completed, staff gathered together to debrief and discuss how things could run more smoothly in the event of an actual natural disaster. These drills help remind us of what steps we should take during an earthquake, identify opportunities to improve, and could save lives!
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