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Annual “Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill Set for October 20th

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Release Date:
October 19, 2022

PHILADELPHIA – The annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill will take place October 20, 2022 across the United States and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 3 wants to encourage the Whole Community to participate and learn the simple, but critical, safety steps to preparing for and staying safe during an earthquake. The Great ShakeOut is the largest earthquake drill worldwide and over 40 million people are already registered to practice their earthquake safety plans.

We encourage everyone to Drop, Cover, and Hold On with us on October 20, 2022.

Worldwide there is an average of one damaging earthquake almost every third day. In the United States, earthquakes are normally thought of as a west coast hazard, but they can happen anywhere, such as the Mid-Atlantic 2011 earthquake. The severity of the 2011 earthquake brought about two Presidentially Declared Disasters that were awarded to both the Commonwealth of Virginia and Washington, DC totaling more than $47 million in Public Assistance and almost $17 million in Individual Assistance Funding Obligations combined.

“Damaging earthquakes can occur at any time– where we work, live or travel,” stated FEMA Region 3 Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “We are once again excited to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut drill with our state, local, and community partners not only in our region, but across the world. This is an excellent opportunity to practice and prepare for earthquakes, a hazard that can impact millions of people at a moment’s notice.”

To help people to prepare and participate, FEMA Region 3 produced a white board video highlighting the steps to practice for the Great ShakeOut. The Great ShakeOut also produces additional videos that address how to protect yourself from earthquakes in a number of scenarios – whether an earthquake strikes while you are in your home, car, bed or elsewhere.

We also encourage you to join us in tweeting your ShakeOut photo of your drill, using the hashtag #ShakeOut.

During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety action is 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).

The Great ShakeOut is free and open to the public. Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, register to participate at www.shakeout.org. Once registered, you’ll receive regular information on how to plan your drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

Hundreds of thousands of people will participate in this event in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia, joining Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills occurring throughout the nation and in several countries.

The Great ShakeOut is nationally sponsored by the United States Geological Survey, FEMA, and the National Science Foundation and is supported by dozens of other partners. The Great ShakeOut is coordinated globally by the Southern California Earthquake Center.

For more information, please visit www.shakeout.org. For additional earthquake information, please visit https://www.ready.gov/earthquakes.

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FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. FEMA Region 3’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

 Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3 and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/femaregion3

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