FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Memphis, TN — Last Thursday, October 16 at 10:16 a.m., nearly 4.8 million people across 19 States and the District of Columbia participated in the Great Central U.S. and Great SouthEast ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. The regional ShakeOut drills are part of a global effort to teach people how to stay safe during an earthquake.
This action—known as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”—is the safest response while the ground is shaking during an earthquake, and is endorsed by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), American Red Cross, and other emergency officials and first responders. ShakeOut participants included K-12 schools, businesses, neighborhood groups, colleges and universities, government organizations, and many other groups. Also, several Governors of participating States issued statements proclaiming Oct. 16 as “Great ShakeOut Day” in their States. Including Thursday’s regional drills, more than 20 million people nationwide (and several other countries) participated in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.
Prior to the actual drill, individuals got the opportunity to plan their drills by using standardized resources such as drill manuals and broadcasts, informational videos, scenarios and more. While the primary activity of the ShakeOut was based upon a drill procedure that is similar to a fire or tornado drill, participants were also encouraged to take actions to become better prepared for all disasters by:
- Securing heavy items to prevent them from causing injuries during an earthquake
- Creating an emergency plan and/or updating emergency supply kits
- Talking with their families and neighbors about emergency preparedness
According to CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson, “Everyone everywhere should know how to protect themselves during an earthquake. Even if an individual doesn’t live in an area with a high earthquake hazard, they may one day travel to such an area and need to be prepared. ShakeOut provides a dedicated time for individuals and communities to take a just few minutes out of their day-to-day activities to practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On—an action that one day may save their lives.” Wilkinson also adds that “Involving the ‘whole community’ is a major focus for us and we sincerely appreciate the dedication our partners have shown as they’ve worked tirelessly to make the ShakeOut a big success.”
The ShakeOut occurs annually on the third Thursday of October with the next drill scheduled for October 15, 2015 at 10:15AM, local time. For more information, visit www.shakeout.org.
The Great Central U.S. and Great Southeast ShakeOut Drills are coordinated annually by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, its Member and Associate States, FEMA, the US Geological Survey (USGS), and dozens of other partners. Participating States include: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills began in California in 2008 and have expanded throughout the Nation and in several countries around the globe since then.