Set your calendar and cell phone to the exact time and date for the Great California Shakeout, the largest earthquake drill in history:
Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 10:17 a.m. "Drop, Cover and Hold On," for one full minute.
ShakeOut headquarters is at the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. ShakeOut coordinators have issued the following advisory to prepare in advance of the drill:
Most injuries in earthquakes are caused by falling or flying objects, and can be prevented or reduced by identifying these hazards in advance and securing moveable items. The following list includes free or lost actions that people can do in one weekend, or perhaps one each week until done. This may involve asking others for help or to borrow tools, and helping them in return, as well as assisting others in the community.
No cost suggestions:
- Move heavy or large items to the floor or low shelves.
- Move things that can fall on you away from where you spend a lot of time.
- Move heavy or unstable objects away from doors and escape routes.
Low cost suggestions:
- Secure a water heater to wall studs with two metal straps.
- Secure top-heavy furniture and appliances to wall studs.
- Hang mirrors and pictures on closed hooks.
- Secure computers and TVs with special straps.
- Prevent small items from falling by using museum putty or wax.
- Install latches on kitchen cabinets.
Most items listed above are available at local hardware stores or from organizations such as Ready America.
A bit more work or cost:
- Use flexible connections where gas lines meet appliances (such as water heaters and ovens)
- Secure overhead light fixtures.
- Secure freestanding wood stoves or fireplace inserts.
The ShakeOut website, www.shakeout.org, informs people at schools, work and home about how to prepare to survive and recover quickly from the next damaging earthquake. Sign up for the drill on the website as an individual, family, business, organization or school. Download drill plans designed for every level of readiness.
“Don’t be left out of the ShakeOut,” said Mark Benthien, Director for Outreach, Southern California Earthquake Center, and Executive Director, Earthquake Country Alliance. “It’s amazing to see how quickly this has become a worldwide movement. ShakeOut is a fun and easy way for people, organizations and communities in many regions to get prepared now, together, before the next major earthquake.”
ShakeOut began as a Southern California drill in 2008 and has since grown to include drills in more than 40 states and U.S. Territories, along with participation in Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, and many other countries. More than 20 million participants are expected to participate in 2013 (including 10 million in California) as part of the various ShakeOut drills.
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are coordinated worldwide by the Southern California Earthquake Center with a broad network of local ShakeOut coordinators, with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Geological Survey. The Great California ShakeOut is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance, which includes California Office of Emergency Services, U.S. Geological Survey, California Earthquake Authority, American Red Cross, and many other organizations.
Reminder: Set your cell phone alarms for the exact time of the drill. And register for the ShakeOut at www.shakeout.org today.