FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
In just three months, individuals and communities throughout five states and the District of Columbia will practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” the recommended response in the event of an earthquake, during the first ever Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.
This regional earthquake drill comes on the heels of the one year anniversary of the August 23, 2011 M5.9 Mineral, Virginia earthquake and 2012 National Preparedness Month in September. Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are encouraging their schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities, and households to participate. These states are being supported by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC, www.cusec.org), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and many other local, state, federal and volunteer partners. CUSEC coordinates a similar drill across nine Central U.S. states, with more than 2.4 million participants in February, 2012.
The ShakeOut drill is designed to be easy to do and self-led, and primarily includes “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drills held simultaneously at many different locations. This activity provides people and communities an opportunity to practice a simple, yet potentially lifesaving, action should an earthquake occur, as follows:
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
A tested and successfully replicated program, the ShakeOut also encourages participants to take steps to become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters. The drill is free and open-to-the-public, and is modeled after similar efforts held throughout the nation. ShakeOut originated in California, where the drills have been held annually since 2008. In 2011, more than 8.5 million people participated in earthquake drills in California. Also in 2011, Georgia and South Carolina involved a combined 700,000 out of 3.1 million total registered participants in the first ever Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, which was held across eleven states.
Based on these successes, the ShakeOut is now an international program, coordinated by the Southern California Earthquake Center and involving many partners as well as significant support from FEMA. In addition to the states participating in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, similar drills will also be held on October 18, 2012 in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska, British Columbia, Southern Italy, and Central Asia. New Zealand will hold a nationwide ShakeOut drill in September 2012, and Japan is holding local ShakeOut drills on various dates in the fall. Currently, there are more than 8 million people that have been registered to participate in 2012. (see www.shakeout.org).
The Great SouthEast ShakeOut is your chance to practice what to do before an earthquake happens in your community, and to learn how to get better prepared for a quick recovery. To get started, visit www.shakeout.org/southeast, and pledge to have your family, school, business, or organization participate in the drill. Once registered, you will receive regular information on how to plan your drill and how to engage your community to become better prepared for earthquakes and disasters.
It is a two minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
To register, or for more information, visit www.shakeout.org/southeast