Earthquake drill in Sylmar simulates needs in wake of catastrophic SoCal quake

SYLMAR, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Fire Department helped facilitate a large-scale earthquake drill in Sylmar on Saturday. The test simulates the immediate needs in the wake of a catastrophic quake in a residential area.

The drill took place at Oakridge Mobile Home Park. It was a simulated scenario that could quickly turn into real life, that's why the LAFD's Community Emergency Response Team was put to the test.

The volunteers are key to saving lives in a crisis.

"We are the force multiplier for the fire department and, again, when there's a large distaster, no one's coming, they're not coming, they've got other things to do. We've got to take care of ourselves, so every person in Los Angeles needs to go through the CERT training," said Janet Gibson of LAFD's CERT unit.

RELATED: Earthquake early warning app for Los Angeles County now available for download
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An app that alerts residents in Los Angeles County of earthquakes - potentially providing critical seconds of warning before shaking begins - is now available for download.

The training from the LAFD is free and open to everyone. There are no age limits and no physical limits.

Saturday's mock quake was a chance for citizens to practice their life-saving skills -- from searching buildings, to extricating victims, to triaging the injured.

"It's a way for people in their communities to get together, thinking about ways to prepare for their future, thinking about ways to help each other out, not just in disasters but in everyday problems," one participant said.

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ABC7 has compiled a list of items that are important to have in your earthquake kit so that you're prepared for "the big one."

Residents helped give the drill a real-life feel, knowing anything can happen at a moment's notice.

The ultimate goal is to get as many people as possible trained to help themselves, help their families and help their community in times of crisis.
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