In less than two months, individuals and communities throughout the central and eastern U.S. will participate in Great Central U.S. and Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake safety drills. Now held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut is set for Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. As a linked event to FEMA’s National Preparedness Month, ShakeOut is billed as a national “Whole Community Day of Action”, where more than 40 states and territories will participate in earthquake safety activities. More than 12 million people are expected to participate in ShakeOut drills nationwide. 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.
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. ShakeOut originated in California in 2008 and has 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. 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.