PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A clip of news anchors reacting to the 7.1-magnitude earthquake on live TV in Los Angeles has sparked a conversation on how to react during an earthquake.
The 2 anchors, a woman and a man, react very differently as the studio they’re in starts to shake. The woman grabs the arm of her co-anchor and says, “I think we need to get under the desk.”
In the moments before the station cuts to commercial, the woman ducks under the desk while the man remains sitting.
Earthquake preparedness experts say the anchors’ split-second decisions remind us to anticipate our own reactions.
Steve Eberlein is the director of Tipping Point Resilience, a consultancy that aims to ignite cultures of earthquake preparedness in homes, schools and businesses up and down the West Coast.
After watching the clip of the anchors reacting to the earthquake, Eberlein said there are 4 important stages to note.
First is what Eberlein refers to as “onset of awareness” in which the anchors figure out that they’re experiencing an earthquake.
Stage 2 is fear.
“They haven’t really decided what to do and fear is taking hold,” Eberlein said. “You can see it in his face.”
The next stage is called “milling.” Eberlein said this is when people try to decide how they’re going to respond, as a team, to the emergency.
Finally, a decision is made. The female anchor, Eberlein said, made the right choice by taking action and getting under the desk.
Tipping Point Resilience wants to cut out many of these steps. Eberlein said there should be no hesitation between realizing what’s happening and taking action.
Lydia Ledgerwood-Eberlein, community director at Tipping Point Resilience, noticed another difference in the anchors’ reactions.
“The female newscaster was trying to build consensus,” Ledgerwood-Eberlein said.
But the woman still hesitated.
“The best way to build consensus is to take action,” Ledgerwood-Eberlein said.