The annual Great ShakeOut event is the largest earthquake drill in the world held on a single day. With more than 100,000 registered participants, it provides a great opportunity for schools, families and offices to take part in the emergency drill and review the steps to follow during an actual earthquake. This year millions will practice the Drop, Cover and Hold On drill at 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2015.
There are three simple steps to take part in the drill:
- Drop – Drop to the ground before you lose your balance.
- Cover – Take cover under a desk or table to protect yourself from falling objects or debris.
- Hold on – Hold on to your desk or table until the shaking stops.
If you happen to find yourself outside when an earthquake occurs, move to an area that is clear of buildings, trees and other structures that could potentially fall. If you are in a vehicle, stay clear of any overpasses or bridges that may be damaged. Most earthquake injuries occur not from the shaking itself, but from collapsing structures, glass and falling objects.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has many resources available; Ready.gov offers valuable tips for how to prepare for an earthquake. Earlier this summer FEMA featured Hollywood star Dwayne Johnson in a 30-second Public Service Announcement.
It is important to think about your daily routine and how an earthquake may impact your life. Plan for what to do when you are on your own and where you might need assistance. FEMA recommends considering what obstacles you may encounter in the wake of an earthquake. What if power, gas and phone lines are not working? What if roads and sidewalks are impassible? How will you access food, water, medication and other needs? By assembling an emergency supply kit, you can keep your most vital supplies in one place.
You can never be too prepared! You can check in with your local emergency response agencies for updated information on Great ShakeOut drills in your community. There are many options and benefits for private businesses and government agencies to participate. People with disabilities can also find guidelines from this ShakeOut Preparedness Guide.
To learn more and register to take part in a ShakeOut near you, visit www.shakeout.org.