COLUMBUS, OH — Following September's National Preparedness Month, FEMA and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency encourage residents to stay in "readiness mode," as the date for the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill approaches.
Held annually on the third Thursday in October, ShakeOut is set for October 20th at 10:20 a.m. During the earthquake drill, participants are encouraged to practice how to "Drop, Cover and Hold On." The drill, itself, is about a minute long. Preparing and knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake is crucial.
Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safest response to an earthquake is to:
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.
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 shaking stops. Under a shelter: hold onto it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
ShakeOut participants can register and find resources for their earthquake drills at www.shakeout.org/centralus/. If you've registered last year, the website has your information, but you must click on the appropriate boxes to update and register for this year.
"Ohio may not experience earthquakes of significant magnitudes, but we do have them," said Sima Merick, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. "Or, you may travel to another state or country that has a history of sizable earthquakes. Know what to do in the event of any disaster — whether it's an earthquake, tornado or fire."
To date, more than 2.5 million people have registered to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut. Ohio EMA is participating, and encourages other state and local agencies and business to register, too.
Additional earthquake preparedness information is available at www.ready.ohio.gov. Click on "Earthquakes" in the green menu bar.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is being coordinated by Ohio EMA, the Central U.S.
Earthquake Consortium and its member and associate states, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners.