ATLANTA — The fifth annual Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake drill will take place on October 19 at 10:19 a.m. across the southeast United States.
More than 1.3 million people will participate in this regional event, joining Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills occurring throughout the nation and in several countries. More than 25 million people around the globe are expected to participate. In addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.
“While damaging earthquakes may be rarer in the Southeast 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,” said Gracia Szczech, FEMA Region IV administrator.
Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 10:19 a.m. 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 recent M7.1 earthquake that struck near Mexico City serves as a reminder that large, damaging earthquakes occur with little or no warning. Citizens in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states are not immune to earthquakes—the August 2011 M5.8 earthquake in Virginia was felt by an estimated 100 million people and caused approximately $150 million in damage and economic loss.
The 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.
The Great Southeast U.S. ShakeOut is being coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners. ShakeOut is coordinated globally by the Southern California Earthquake Center in Los Angeles, California.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.