CASTRO VALLEY (KPIX) — On Saturday, Kathleen Johnson brought her children to Alameda County’s Disaster Preparedness Fair (part of the Urban Shield weekend event) in Castro Valley to show them how to respond to a real-life emergency.
One fascinating exhibit, called the Big Shaker, simulated the effects of a magnitude 8 earthquake. For kids who had never experienced a strong quake in their young lives, the experience was an eye-opener.READ MORE: Diesel Tanker Truck Flips Over On Highway 37 in Solano County Near Marsh Wildlife Area
“There have been some minor earthquakes that they have experienced and we’ve practiced getting in the doorway, getting under a table, et cetera” Johnson said.
It has been nearly three decades since the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked the Bay Area and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, which sponsored the event, is working to overcome locals’ complacency.
“We’re probably in line for the next big earthquake so we need people to take this seriously. We need people to prepare. We need people to be able to sustain themselves,” said Tya Modeste, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.READ MORE: Sunnyvale 13-Year-Old Awakens To Help Mother Fight Off Attacker
Organizers’ message wasn’t limited to natural disasters, they also want to help people prepare for everyday emergencies — like a house fire. It can be difficult to find your way out of a burning building filled with smoke.
“You always want to stay low, as low as possible,” explained Bay EMT spokesperson Jacob Ferdan. “Smoke will rise. If you stand up and breath that smoke — that’s carbon monoxide. It will cause you to pass out,” he added.
The fair featured plenty of simple — but perhaps life-saving — tips and demonstrations.MORE NEWS: Suspect In Brutal Berkeley Home Invasion, Attempted Rape Identified As Santa Rita Jail Inmate
“You never know when we’ll be hit next,” Modeste reminded visitors.