Readying Cerritos College for a major earthquake

Cerritos College is aggressively destroying old buildings and erecting new earthquake-resistant ones.

Students even know where to muster up after an emergency, but all of this preparation leaves us open to other dangers.

Emergency generators should be installed for the campus power grid since there is no telling how long students will remain on campus after an earthquake. Students will be more willing to remain calm under working lights and air conditioning.

We also do not know how old the gas and water pipes on campus are. They should be inspected and replaced, if necessary.

Some of the trees on campus are large enough to pose a risk to students. They should be trimmed down to a reasonable size so there is no chance that they will topple over or lose branches that could fall on students during an earthquake.

Many rooms on campus only have one door for entry and exit. Another door should be installed in these rooms since one door could be clogged by many students trying to evacuate at once.

The computer lab can also be a risk during an earthquake since many of the computers there are not properly secured to the tables. Computers might fall on the ground and pose a dangerous obstacle for hundreds of students trying to evacuate.

Like K-12 students, the emergency poster found around campus advises Cerritos College students to duck and cover under a desk in the event of an earthquake. Following that procedure will prove to be difficult for adult college students when the desks on campus seem to be getting smaller every year.

Furnishing every room with reasonably-sized desks that can shelter students during an earthquake is very important.

Earthquake drills should also be held at the beginning of every semester since new students may not be familiar with the evacuation procedure.

Even without incorporating the recommendations above, Cerritos College is one of safest places a student can be at during an earthquake.

Cerritos College staff and students have proven with last semester’s earthquake drill that they know what to do during an evacuation, and are ready for a real earthquake.

Another plus is that whole campus is accessible to emergency responders and their vehicles.