Millions to Participate in FEMA Drill Next Week

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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,, 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, 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 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

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  1. Lauryn Vacey October 24, 2012 at 9:57 am - Reply

    I never heard about this. Where can I read those stories?

  2. Anonymous October 17, 2012 at 4:08 am - Reply

    the survivors of andrew said NOAA weather said the storm was turning 85mph, IT was a lie andrew was spinning at 350mph, the worst hurricane to ever come ashore in the usa, people who had broken bones and other major injuries had to hide under debrea as the FEMA workers were going around shooting every suvivor that was injuried in the head(THEY DID THE SAME IN KATRINA)the dead were hauled to the air force base and buried in mass graves, no one knew till later when a few who hid told the story of what really happened to them and demanned to know where their friends and family were taken to…………

  3. Anonymous October 17, 2012 at 3:57 am - Reply

    AIN'T this the same fema who killed 6000 injuried people after andrew in florida, and then killed another 4000 in new york city and then killed 5000 in new orleans after katrina , america sure trusts a dangerous crowd don't they?

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