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    CDC Stands Tall, Continues Service After Quake

    Youth Instructors monitor students

    Photo By Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeffery Southerland | CHINA LAKE, Calif. (July 17, 2019)– Kristine Sarescartin, a youth instructor at the...... read more read more

    CHINA LAKE, Calif. (July 17, 2019) - “One of the civil engineers said he wouldn’t mind being here during an earthquake and that really gave me peace of mind,” said Debra Oliver, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake (NAWSCL), child and youth program director.

    After a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on July 5, a base evacuation order was issued for NAWSCL. Only essential personnel would be allowed on base. Oliver and Child Development Center (CDC) employees were among the essential people permitted on base.

    The CDC is one of the safest buildings on NAWSCL, because it was built at a more stringent standard for earthquake protection than was required. This allowed the CDC to be available to families immediately following the earthquake.

    “I came and assessed the building with a civil engineer, to make sure it was clear for personnel,” said Oliver. “There was damage, but nothing significant. One of the civil engineers said that he wouldn’t mind being in the CDC building during an earthquake. That really gave me peace of mind.”

    The CDC being available immediately allowed Sailors and base personnel to drop their children off while they tended to the earthquake recovery. Initially, the CDC was only authorized to accommodate those families of mission essential personnel that were currently registered customers, but this designation was later revised.

    The base commanding officer requested that no one be turned away from CDC services. All personnel with access to the base were allowed to continue bringing their children to the center, said Oliver.

    This allowed the children and the CDC staff to continue a regular routine with everything going on around them.

    “I was a little nervous to come in and take care of the kids, but once I got in here I was comfortable,” said Tracey Collins, a youth instructor at the CDC. “I am a native Californian that has lived here all my life and have never experienced anything on that level before. I am really glad the kids got to comeback because I think their comfort and normal routine is essential to their wellbeing and happiness.”

    With the base going through the recovery process it was especially essential for personnel to know their children were taken care of during a stressful time.

    “I saw a family that comes to us everyday,” said Oliver. “They have three children. They walked in last week and they looked exhausted. They looked drained and stressed. I was so happy we were able to take their kids and provide solace to them; some time for the parents to handle the aftermath of the earthquake.”

    Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is recovering from two large earthquakes that damaged various facilities on base, July 4 and 5.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.18.2019
    Date Posted: 07.18.2019 10:27
    Story ID: 331960
    Location: CHINA LAKE, CA, US 

    Web Views: 23
    Downloads: 1
    Podcast Hits: 0

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