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Virginians can practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” the recommended response to an earthquake, during the first ever Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012 at 10:18 a.m.
Virginia joins Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Columbia in holding the drill and encouraging schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities and families to participate.
The Oct. 18 earthquake drill for southeastern states will follow the one-year anniversary of the August 23, 2011, 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Mineral. The ShakeOut drill, modeled after similar efforts held throughout the nation, provides an opportunity to practice a simple, potentially lifesaving, action should an earthquake occur:
• 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
To register for the earthquake drill, go to www.shakeout.org/southeast. Those registering for the drill will receive regular information on how to plan their drill and engage their communities to become better prepared for earthquakes and disasters.
The Great SouthEast ShakeOut website also provides many resources for planning a drill and learning how to get better prepared for recovery from an earthquake. To find these resources, go to www.shakeout.org/southeast/resources
Coordinating partners for the Great SouthEast ShakeOut include the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and Federal Emergency Management Agency. CUSEC coordinates a similar drill across central U.S. states. Held this past February, the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut was held across 11 states and drew more than 2.4 million participants.
ShakeOut originated in California, where statewide earthquake drills have been held annually since 2008, and has grown to be an international program. In addition to the states participating in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, similar drills also will be held Oct. 18 in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Guam, Puerto Rico, Alaska, British Columbia, Southern Italy and Central Asia. New Zealand will hold a nationwide ShakeOut drill in September, and Japan is holding local ShakeOut drills on various dates in the fall. More than eight million people have registered to participate in ShakeOut drills so far in 2012.