Following FEMA’s “National Preparedness Month” in September, individuals and communities throughout the Nation are encouraged to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, October 17th. During the self-led drill, millions of people practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety action is to:
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees;
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
- HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).
According to CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson, “While earthquakes may occur here less frequently compared to other disasters such as hurricanes and flooding or severe weather, they can happen without warning and can also cause catastrophic damage and loss of life. Citizens can learn how to protect themselves, their families, and businesses against earthquakes and other disasters by participating in preparedness and safety events such as Great ShakeOut Drills and National Preparedness Month.
The ShakeOut is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate www.shakeout.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
In 2018, nearly 20 million people participated in ShakeOut drills nationwide. More than 50 million people around the globe are expected to participate in 2019 and in addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is being coordinated by CUSEC and our Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners. ShakeOut is coordinated globally by the Southern California Earthquake Center in Los Angeles, California.