earthquake elm

The Elm Hall's evacuation site is one of the few evacuation areas with a visible sign. ( Zimry Hernandez  / Daily Titan)

The Daily Titan reported about the Cal State system's faults in its preparedness for a severe earthquake on April 25. If faculty members or students are on campus during a major earthquake, this is what they should do.

Cal State Fullerton’s Police Department recommends collecting personal belongings and finding an exit if people are inside a building during an emergency. Exits might be blocked, but people should keep searching until they find an exit. Once outside, it is recommended to make sure they are at least 50 feet away from any buildings.

CSUF has 22 areas marked around campus as evacuation areas in case of an emergency. These areas are found away from major buildings and mostly include large open areas such as the intramural fields next to the tennis courts and track, and some parking lots, including the parking lot behind College Park.

However, upon visiting some of these areas, there are no clear or visible signs around those areas that mark it as an evacuation area. Only the parking lots behind the housing buildings Holly, Fig and Elm have visible signs posted stating that area as an “Evacuation Meeting Area.” The majority of the other areas do not have these signs.

The school’s evacuation map has also not been updated since September 2018. The map only includes the south portion of the Eastside Parking Structure and has the evacuation areas number 13 highlighted where the north portion of Eastside Parking Structure currently sits. The map does not include the recently constructed northern portion of the Eastside Parking Structure which was built over evacuation area number 13 according to the map.

If anyone is injured, they should ask for assistance from anyone nearby, a building marshal or call 911. While awaiting help, they should try to get away from the interior of the building, such as finding an exterior stairwell.

According to the university police depending on the damage, if cell phone service or internet access is available, students should be getting updates straight from the university. The notifications should come in as texts, emails and phone calls. This is a system in place to keep people updated on the situation, but it is possible for these services to be down completely.

In a study from the U.S. Geological Survey, cell phones and other communication services would likely be out of commission after a devastating earthquake. If it is possible, people should buy or find access to a satellite phone or radio, then that would prepare them and others in case of a disaster.

To prepare for an earthquake, the CSUF PD recommends that people secure items in their homes so that the items don’t fall and injure someone.

People should make a plan with essential items like food, water and a first aid kit. They should also have a set of contacts to reach and a plan of where to go for safety, according to CSUF PD. Other necessary items include a bag or container for your things, comfort items (books, games, etc.), communication devices like a radio and any special needs like medication.

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