Following FEMA’s “National Preparedness Month” in September, individuals and communities throughout 14 mid-west states will participate in the fifth annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.
Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 10:15 a.m. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:
- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops
The April 2015 M7.8 Nepal earthquake and M8.3 September 16, 2015 earthquake near Illapel, Chile serve as reminders that large earthquakes can occur with little to no warning. Citizens in the central U.S. are not immune to earthquakes—the region is home to several active seismic zones capable of producing damaging earthquakes, including the New Madrid and Wabash Valley Seismic Zones. A M2.6 earthquake shook homes and businesses near Shelbyville, Ky. last Monday night around 11:00pm.
According to Patricia Dugger, Director of the Lexington Division of Emergency Management, “While damaging earthquakes here may be fewer in number when compared to other areas, they can occur at any time wherever we work, live, or travel within the region and beyond. Everyone, everywhere should know how to protect themselves from an earthquake.”
The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate at www.shakeout.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
To date, 2.4 million people are registered to participate in this regional event, however Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills will also occur throughout most of the nation and in several countries worldwide. More than 25 million people around the globe are expected to participate; and in addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is being coordinated by Kentucky Emergency Management, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners.
Additional information about earthquakes, earthquake preparedness and the earthquake risk in central Kentucky is available at BeReadyLexington.com/earthquake/.
More information about emergency preparedness is available from the Division of Emergency Management website: BeReadyLexington.com. Information from the division is also available through the DEM Facebook page: LexingtonKYEM and the DEM Twitter account: @lexkyem.