So what if Chico was to experience a natural disaster


Evacuation plan infographics Photo credit: Roberto Fonseca

Disasters have been all over the news lately, from hurricane Harvey and Irma to the numerous wildfires. This raises the question of the readiness we have at Chico State if a natural disaster was to occur in our area.

Questions such as: am I prepared for a fire, what are the procedures in case of a flash flood, or is there a designated meeting point at the college during an earthquake?

These are important questions, and can quite literally be the difference between life and death depending on the situation.

An easy place to find the answers to these questions is the Chico State website; more specifically, the emergency preparation section.

Emergency preparation offers an array of information and resources to those interested in preparing for a disaster.

The most immediate and vital of these resources is the emergency response guide, a literal guidebook that lists the steps that should be taken to ensure minimal injury during a disaster.

The guide covers most disasters; earthquakes, fires and even disasters that are unlikely in California, such as tornados.

For example, in the event of an earthquake, if inside a building one should hide underneath the nearest table, use one hand to cover the back of your neck and the other hand to hold onto one of the legs of the table. If outside, get a safe distance away from all tall structures, which includes utility poles and power lines.

More specific details are also covered in the guide, such as how to assist those who have disabilities during a disaster, as well as proper evacuation procedure.

Another vital pair of documents that are included in emergency preparation is the emergency assembly point locations maps. These documents explain where one should evacuate to during a disaster on campus, depending on their current location. However, it should be noted that these evacuation areas are not final and can be changed if the evacuation area itself is affected by the disaster.

Emergency preparation also has a page that focuses on the Campus Emergency Response Team (CERT). CERT is a volunteer group which is under the supervision of the University Police.

Members of CERT are trained through several classes on how to respond to a disaster. These classes cover subjects such as basic medical triage, search and rescue, fire safety and much more.

These are just a few examples of the vast amount of information and resources made available by the emergency preparation section of the Chico State website.

Andrew Freeman can be reached at [email protected] or at @Andrew_LFreeman on Twitter.