FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In less than two months, individuals and communities throughout seven states and the District of Columbia will participate in the second Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill. Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut is set for Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. EDT. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the proper response to an earthquake is to:
- Drop to the ground
- Take Cover under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck
- Hold On until the shaking stops
Following FEMA’s National Preparedness Month in September, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are occurring nationwide in more than 40 states and territories. More than 12 million people are expected to participate in drills on October 17. In addition to safety drills, many participant take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes.
Additionally, ShakeOut comes on the heels of the two year anniversary of the damaging August 23, 2011 M5.8 Mineral, Virginia earthquake which caused considerable damage in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. Several national landmarks, including the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Institute, and the National Cathedral are undergoing multi-year restorations as a result of this earthquake.
According to Michael Cline, State Coordinator for Virginia Department of Emergency Management, “What we observed during the Mineral earthquake was that most of us did not really know what to do. We want everyone to remember to drop, cover and hold on” during an earthquake.
Coordinated annually by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) and the states of Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, nearly 2 million people participated in the first Great SouthEast ShakeOut drill in October of 2012. This year, Delaware and West Virginia are joining the original SouthEast ShakeOut states to promote earthquake awareness and preparedness in their own states.
The goal of the program is to engage participants to take steps to become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters. The drill is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills began in California in 2008 and have expanded each year since then.
To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to sign up to participate in the drill by visiting www.ShakeOut.org/southeast Once registered, participants receive information about showcase events in their area and regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.