'ShakeOut' Drill Puts Quake Preparedness to the Test
On Thursday, October 15, Oklahomans are encouraged to join more than 42 million people worldwide as they “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in an annual earthquake drill. The event, scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Oklahoma Geological Survey and is part of the annual Great ShakeOut.
In recent years Oklahoma has seen more earthquake activity, including a record-breaking 5.6 magnitude earthquake in 2011. The ShakeOut exercise is designed to help Oklahomans be better prepared in the event that a strong earthquake occurs in the state.
In Oklahoma, more than 56,000 people have already signed up to participate in the drill, including 115 Oklahoma schools, government agencies, and other organizations.
During the ShakeOut, participants will drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to the table for about 60 seconds until the exercise ends. Experts say this is the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake, since in the U.S. the primary threat for injury during an earthquake is falling debris and toppling objects, like bookcases and heavy electronics, rather than structural collapse.
Additionally, to emphasize the importance of earthquake preparedness, Gov. Mary Fallin has proclaimed October 15 as Earthquake Awareness Day in Oklahoma.
“In this state, we recognize the importance of being prepared for all types of disasters, including earthquakes, which is why we are taking part in this exercise,” said OEM Director Albert Ashwood. “We applaud Oklahomans for joining us in this effort.”
Individuals, schools, businesses and other organizations are encouraged to participate in the ShakeOut exercise by registering online at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Participants may choose to participate on the official ShakeOut date or on another date as needed. Once registered, participants will receive information about how to plan their drill.