On October 18, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. EDT, more than one million people across five states and the District of Columbia are scheduled to take part in the first ever Great SouthEast ShakeOut. The ShakeOut is a regional earthquake drill in which participants simultaneously practice the recommended action during an earthquake. This action is known as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”, which means:
- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
- HOLD-ON to it until the shaking stops
The states of 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 in this historic event. These states are being supported by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC, www.cusec.org), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, www.fema.gov), and many other local, state, federal and volunteer partners. CUSEC coordinates a similar drill across nine Central U.S. states, which had more than 2.4 million participants in February, 2012.
This regional earthquake drill comes on the heels of the one year anniversary of the August 23, 2011 M5.9 Mineral, Virginia earthquake. Last year’s earthquake caused significant damage in Louisa County, Virginia, and also millions of dollars in damages in Washington, D.C. The event is free and open-to-the-public, and teaches easy to do, yet potentially life-saving information.
FEMA Region III Acting Regional Administrator Robert Welch is encouraging individuals and organizations to register and join the Great ShakeOut “We were reminded last year that earthquakes can and do happen anywhere. Everyone should make plans and take actions to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes and this drill is an excellent start.”
Collectively, there are more than 10.5 million people worldwide who are expected to participate in the ShakeOut drills October 18, which makes this the largest safety drill ever held. Interested citizens, schools, communities, businesses, etc. are encouraged to visit www.shakeout.org/southeast to pledge their participation in the drill. On the website, many resources are available for participants to use to plan their drills including drill manuals, videos, audio drill broadcasts, earthquake scenarios, and more.
There are many ways for individuals, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations, community groups, scouts, and others to participate in the ShakeOut, to get prepared for earthquakes, and to share activities with others. For more information on the ShakeOut or how to participate in the drill, visit www.shakeout.org.
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