A corner of Biola’s campus was transformed into something straight out of a disaster movie on Oct. 21, as a small army of emergency responders worked to rescue and give medical attention to a group of mock-earthquake victims trapped inside a building.

The realistic-looking scene was part of an elaborate disaster drill staged to coincide with the Great California ShakeOut, a statewide effort to encourage preparedness in case of a major earthquake. Working closely with the city of La Mirada’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the Public Safety Positive Alternatives Team, Biola organized its drill to help university and city officials prepare for how to handle a real emergency on campus and ensure the safety of students.

The scenario began around 10 a.m. with the fictional news of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake epicentered just two miles from Biola’s campus. Within moments, Campus Safety radios roared to life with news that employees and were trapped inside Biola’s facilities services building. As officers responded, a team of Los Angeles County firefighters quickly arrived on campus, sirens blazing, to find and assist the mock victims. A small triage center was immediately set up nearby, where Biola staff and city volunteers attended to some gruesome-looking wounds.

University officials said the drill was highly useful in helping departments across campus to think through and practice what they will need to do in case of an emergency or disaster.

For information about how Biola’s emergency response efforts — and how you can stay safe or get help in case of an emergency — visit the Campus Safety website.

Read Whittier Daily News article, "Great ShakeOut prompts La Mirada disaster drill at Biola University."

The Los Angeles Times Now blog also covered the ShakeOut drill at Biola in their article, "Residents prepare for 'Big One' in Great California Shakeout."