While California experienced some headline-generating earthquakes earlier this week with a 4.7 near Hollister on Tuesday and a 4.5 near Pleasant Hill on Monday, many parts of the eastern half of the country also experience earthquakes and some of those quakes could be severe.
At 10:17am today, more than 2 million people across 8 states and Washington, DC will take part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake safety drill. And an additional 200,000+ will participate in the Great NorthEast ShakeOut earthquake safety drill in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. Even places as far away as the American Samoa, Hawaii, and Guam are participating in today’s drill. The drill will happen at 10:17am local time although some areas may shift the day/time due to other situations happening in their area.
The regional ShakeOut drill is part of an international effort in which participants simultaneously practice how to stay safe during an earthquake — “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. For most people, in most situations, this means to:
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees;
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
- HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).
Schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities, and households are all encouraged to participate in the drill. Worldwide, 25 million people are currently expected to participate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. Although the primary activity of the ShakeOut is based upon a drill procedure similar to a fire or tornado drill, participants are encouraged to take actions to become better prepared for all disasters. This could include:
- Securing heavy items to prevent them from causing injuries during an earthquake
- Creating an emergency plan and/or updating emergency supply kits
- Talking with their families and neighbors about emergency preparedness
People can learn more about the Great ShakeOut and show their local participation on the official website: ShakeOut.org