Saturday, February 18, 2012

CANYON LAKE: Great Shake Out Earthquake Drill Includes Pet Care

 It may seem like an unusual request, but the gated community of Canyon Lake needs homeless people on Feb. 25. And bring your pets.
It's all part of what's called the Great Shake Out, a simulated earthquake drill designed to keep emergency volunteers sharp and raise the consciousness of the city's residents.

"We want people to learn from this and know what to do in case of an emergency," said Nancy Carroll, Canyon Lake emergency volunteer manager. "We live on a major fault line and sooner or later we are going to get hit by the big one, just like they were in Chile and Japan."
Canyon Lake holds disaster drills annually, but this one will be a little different. Organizers are asking that pets be a part of the process.
Earthquake "victims" ---- really Canyon Lake residents who pretend their homes are uninhabitable ---- are asked to put their pets in carriers or kennels and take them to the emergency shelter at Canyon Lake Community Church.
It would also help to bring pet food, and dog owners are encouraged to bring a leash.
"This will be the first time we've included animals," Carroll said. "In a disaster, small animals can end up almost anywhere, so we're asking people to include pets in their emergency plans."
The drill, which will last from 8 a.m. to noon, will focus on activities at the church emergency shelter, which would be the town's gathering place in case of a real disaster. There will be areas for children, pets, the handicapped, food services, recreation and sleeping.
The shelter also will include medical care and areas for people with special needs.
Carroll, who was chosen 2012 Citizen of the Year by the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce for her work in emergency planning, said about 10 to 15 residents normally take part in these drills. This time, they're hoping to attract more participants, with emphasis being placed on pets and children.
"We need more homeless," she said. "Everything will be going on at the shelter."
Organizers say snacks and light lunches will be provided for participants. Games, movies and outdoor play will be provided for the children.
The church is at 30515 Railroad Canyon Road.

Great Shake Out Earthquake Drill Facts: 
What: Practice earthquake disaster drill with emphasis on emergency shelter for people and pets
When: Saturday, Feb. 25, 8 a.m. to noon
Where: Canyon Lake Community Church, 30515 Railroad Canyon Road
Special note: Volunteer earthquake victims from Canyon Lake and their pets are needed.
Information: Nancy Carroll, 951-244-8230

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