Drop, Cover and Hold: The Great Shake Out

Today Providence Hospital participated in the nationwide earthquake drill called the Great Shake Out.

Posted: Oct. 18, 2018 4:07 PM
Updated: Oct. 18, 2018 6:37 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — People in Oregon are preparing for a large earthquake that scientists say is bound to happen at some point.

The three basic steps when you do feel an earthquake is to drop, cover and hold under a table or counter.

"How can we best protect the patients and our caregivers during that active shaking so we can be in the recovery phrase," said Patrick Rachon, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Providence Hospital.

On Thursday at 10:18 in the morning, Providence Hospital in Medford participated in the Great Shake Out that happened nationwide. Whether they were a doctor, nurse or surgeon everyone had to stop and duck, cover and hold. During the drill staff members took notes on what worked and any problems that arose.

"Everyone knows what they are doing, but also those evaluation forms help our processing improve, to make it better, to make it a safer situation for the hospital, community and all of our patients," Rachon said.

Rachon doesn't remember if an earthquake has ever hit the hospital, but he says this is the first earthquake drill in the last three years.

"One of the unique challenges is medical equipment, we have IUV poles that can tip over we have patients that can't move so evacuations in this environment isn't even an option," Rachon said.

The hospital is also working with the University of Oregon to get 10 to 15 seconds heads up called a shake alert before an earthquake hits.

"We don't have it in place yet, but we are practicing those policies and we are getting it in there so we can hopefully with over 99 percent accuracy give the caregivers, give the surgeons, the doctors and the patients 15 seconds of heads up before that shaking starts," Rachon said.

The hospital also speaks with their sister ministries in the bay and LA area about earthquakes to learn what works for them when it comes to quakes.

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