COLUMBUS, OH – National Preparedness Month is almost over, but that doesn’t mean we stop preparing for disasters. FEMA, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) are encouraging citizens to stay prepared and Get Ready to ShakeOut during the annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill.
Held annually on the third Thursday in October, ShakeOut is set for October 18th at 10:18 a.m. CUSEC notes though, like fire drills, the earthquake drill can be scheduled for a date and time more suitable for schools and businesses.
“People may say ‘Why do we need to practice earthquake drills in Ohio?’ We practice because Ohio does experience earthquakes,” said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. “Ohio has had four low-scale earthquakes so far this year. It is also good to know earthquake safety in the event you’ve traveled to another state or country where quakes can occur with higher magnitude and frequency.”
The actual ShakeOut drill is only one minute long. But ShakeOut is more than an earthquake drill. ShakeOut is intended to get people to talk about emergency preparedness and to plan for all hazards and disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes or hazmat incidents.
What do you do during the ShakeOut drill? Practice the safest response to an earthquake:
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if it’s nearby. If you have mobility issues, either lock the wheels of your wheelchair or stay seated, and bend over.
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall, away from windows.
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If you are under a table or desk for shelter, hold onto it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
There is still time to register to participate. Individuals, schools, businesses and organizations can easily register online at www.shakeout.org/centralus/. Earthquake preparedness information and resources are also available on this site. If you registered last year, you need only to confirm/update your information.
Additional earthquake preparedness information is also available at www.ready.ohio.gov. Click on “Earthquakes” in the green menu bar.
To date, more than 2 million people have registered to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.