UC Berkeley’s Office of Emergency Management will coordinate with nine locations on campus to conduct an earthquake drill on Aug. 11. Photo: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab/Roy Kaltschmidt

UC Berkeley’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will conduct a full-scale campus exercise Friday, Aug. 11, to practice and evaluate the campus’s response to a 6.8-magnitude earthquake on the Hayward Fault. The exercise — Golden Alliance 2017 — includes nearly 400 participants at nine locations across campus, though impact to normal operations should be minimal. It will take place between 8 a.m. and noon, according to an alert released by UCPD Chief Margo Bennett.

The exercise includes the activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Warren Hall. The EOC acts as a central location for management level coordination, communication and support during emergencies. Senior campus leaders will also participate as part of the Crisis Management Team (CMT) in California Hall. The CMT is responsible for significant policy-level decision-making during an emergency.

There will be first responders near Memorial Glade as well as teams conducting inspections in several campus buildings.

“One of the main goals of the exercise is to practice the communication and coordination that is required between all levels of campus response,” said Amina Assefa, a manager in the Office of Emergency Management. “Meeting the needs of the campus after an emergency can only be accomplished through a coordinated effort of campus units working together.”

The Marina District in San Francisco after 1989’s Loma Prieta earthquake. Photo: Eve Fraser-Corp/Flickr

According the U.S. Geological Survey there is a 73% chance that a large earthquake (magnitude 6.7 or greater) will strike the San Francisco Bay Area before 2043. The Golden Alliance 2017 exercise allows key response personnel to practice processes and procedures for responding to a large earthquake.

It’s important to prepare for earthquakes before they happen. OEM has created a free emergency preparedness app that contains Berkeley-specific tips and emergency guidance. Visit the OEM website for download instructions and to access further information on campus emergency procedures.

For UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty, text alerts are the fastest way to get notified during an emergency — to sign up for urgent text alerts visit the WarnMe website.

This story was first published by UC Berkeley News on Aug. 7, 2017.