On July 20 at 4:42 a.m., an earthquake from the Hayward fault rocked East Bay residents. This natural disaster reminded Mills, located over faults, of earthquake safety.
Centered about 2 miles northeast of Oakland and about 3.6 miles below the surface, the earthquake was a 4.2 on the Richter scale.
The US Geological Survey reported that a magnitude 4.2 earthquake is considered “light,” and causes little damage.
The latter of the Hayward, San Andreas and Berkeley faults run through the Mills campus, along Highway 580 and behind the Art Museum.
The Mills Emergency Management Team included an earthquake awareness guide in the Mills Emergency Plan, and drills are regularly held.
Academic buildings have earthquake and fire drills once a year, residential buildings have them once a semester and the Children’s School and Julia Morgan have monthly drills.
Assistant Director of Public Safety Niviece Robinson recommends that students participate in emergency drills as well as educate themselves on fire and earthquake safety. “There’s no reason to panic, just take the time to read,” Robinson said. “Students also need to know where [they] are and what their surroundings are, [they] should know the exits and always have a backup plan. Just because you have a car doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to drive away. Know the transits too.”
The emergency plan is available on the Mills website.
It states that the key to living here is to “first accept that [earthquakes] can and may occur.” Arranging one’s living area for safety is a basic tip to ensuring personal safety.
According to the Plan, students should place heavy According to the Plan, students should place heavy objects on lower shelves and shelves should not be placed above beds or desks.
Bookcases and tall furniture should be secured to the wall or placed where they cannot fall and cause injury. Beds, desks and chairs should not be placed near windows, and it is recommended to sleep and sit with your head opposite the windows.
Junior Casandra Tarin, who experienced the July quake, said “earthquakes don’t really bother me, they happen all the time here and we don’t even feel them. we’re fine.”
In the event of an earthquake though, Tarin said instinct would tell her to get out of the building.
One Oakland resident, Dave Burudoko, 24, ran out with his roommate, fearing this earthquake would be like the one that took down the Bay Bridge in 1989. After the fact, he said that the earthquake was not that bad. “It ended pretty quick.the whole thing just felt like I was surfing.”
There were no reported injuries from the quake but nearly 1,500 residents were left without power for about four hours.