Westmont Prepares for Earthquake


More than 100 Westmont faculty and staff teamed up with more than 30 first responders and emergency officials for an all-day earthquake exercise at Westmont May 14. College employees practiced emergency functions and activities with 16 different local emergency organizations.

The exercise provided hands-on practice for the 25 emergency functions identified as necessary for a coordinated response.

“The more we practice, the more effortless it becomes,” says Geri Ventura, information officer for Montecito Fire.

Without electricity, crews were able to set up satellite televisions, wireless connections and satellite phones.  Other activities included a fire drill at Kerrwood Hall, setting up tent shelters, sampling meals ready to eat ( MREs) and practicing with hand-held radios.
“Westmont is prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours following an emergency,” says  Troy Harris, director of risk management at Westmont. He and his staff organized the drill, one of two major exercises scheduled each year.

As part of the exercise, the public information team wrote and posted this information via satellite working in a tent set up on the college’s tennis courts.