SHERMAN OAKS—On April 19, the Los Angeles Fire Department conducted a drill intended to simulate an earthquake measuring at a magnitude of 8.0.

The preparation measure took place at a Sherman Oaks fire station, (Fire Station 88), where a realistic scene depicting the aftermath of a massive earthquake was set up with props including an overturned Metrolink train, heaps of rubble from a crumbled freeway and other signs of damage characteristic of a significant tremor.

The emergency drill was set up as a precautionary method resulting from a notable series of recent earthquakes that have recently devastated numerous parts of the world, with Haiti and Chile being among the most prominent.  The drill was also intended to test the response fitness of firefighters and search-and-rescue teams to high-magnitude earthquakes.

Eric White, a spokesman for LAFD, informed Canyon News that the LAFD joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA), city planners and city disaster preparedness organizers in its “Resolve to Be Ready” preparedness campaign in the efforts to further training and preparedness for the event of a devastating earthquake.  LAFD encourages individuals to remember California’s most recent seismic activity, such as the following:

1) The Northridge Earthquake, on January 17, 1994, at 4:30 a.m., measuring at a magnitude of 6.7.

2) The Loma Prieta Earthquake, on October 17, 1989, at 5:04 p.m., measuring at a magnitude of 7.1.

3) The San Fernando Earthquake, on February 9, 1971, at 6:01 a.m., measuring at a magnitude of 7.5.

LAFD warns that an earthquake of large magnitude can strike at any time, and urges individuals to take the necessary steps to prepare themselves in the event of an earthquake or similar emergency.  The following critical steps are suggested:

1) Prepare an emergency supply kit.

2) Create a family emergency plan.

3) Educate and prepare yourself and your family for the various types of emergencies that can occur in your area.

LAFD states in a media advisory: “The first 72 hours after an earthquake are critical.  Electricity, gas, water and telephones may not be working. Additionally, public safety services such as your Los Angeles Fire Department will be handling serious emergencies. You should prepare to be  self-sufficient for at least three days following a major earthquake.”

For further information on preparedness for earthquakes and other emergencies, visit LAFD’s website at