Posted by: Craig Fugate, Administrator
"Duck and Cover." "Stop, Drop and Roll." "Shake, rattle and roll." There are a lot of slogans and catchphrases out there to help get our message across to the public about how to react in an emergency (OK, the last one I mentioned isn't really an emergency management one). I wanted to share an upcoming opportunity to focus on the catchphrase for what to do during an earthquake: "Drop. Cover. Hold on." Four weeks from today, on February 7 at 10:15 am central, millions of Americans will practice those very steps by participating in the annual Central U.S. ShakeOut.
This last year was an important reminder to all of us that earthquakes, like other disasters, can strike anytime, anywhere – not just on the West Coast. They come with little to no warning and their effects, such as shaking, can often be felt hundreds of miles and many states away from their epicenters. In August, when the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck Louisa County in Virginia, shaking was felt as far south as Georgia and as far north as Quebec, Canada.
Last year, over 3 million people participated in the first-ever central U.S. shakeout drill, choosing to practice earthquake safety at their schools, homes, workplaces and countless other organizations. This year, we're looking for parents, businesses and institutions to take the lead and make earthquake preparedness even more front and center.
To date over one million people have registered for the ShakeOut across the central U.S. It’s a good start – but we know we can get more people and communities involved. So if you haven’t already – do your part. Sign up to shakeout and then check out Ready.gov/earthquakes to learn how you can better prepare your home, workplace or school for an earthquake.
And remember – even if you don’t live in the central U.S., the Shakeout isn’t about only practicing earthquake safety on one day, once a year. Take a few minutes each month to check your home, office or school to make sure these environments are as safe as possible if an earthquake would strike. And if you're a parent or educator, review earthquake safety on a regular basis if your children, reminding them of the three simple steps of drop, cover and hold on.
For businesses, schools and organizations, check out resources for hosting a ShakeOut event.
Follow the Central U.S. ShakeOut on Twitter and Facebook.