Shake Out drill prepares public for earthquakes

Posted at 10:21 AM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 13:21:46-04
Do you know what to do the moment the ground starts shaking? Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
USGS scientists recently determined that nearly half of Americans are exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes based on where they work and live. Still others will be at risk when traveling. Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during an earthquake. Don't leave it to luck.
Be prepared and join millions of people participating in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills worldwide on Oct. 20. During the drill, participants practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On." This is the recommended safety action to take during an earthquake.
USGS map showing (1) the locations of major populations and (2) the intensity of potential earthquake ground shaking that has a 2% chance of occurring in 50 years.
Shake It Like It's Real
Mark your calendar and register to participate so that you know how to protect yourself, those you love and your community. Families, schools, businesses and organizations can all sign up and get involved. There are many ways to participate, and a variety ofresources and tips are provided online. This includes pre-made flyers, drill broadcast recordings, drill manuals and more.
The History of ShakeOut
The USGS is a proud founder and supporter of ShakeOut. The ShakeOut began in California in 2008 and has since spread to other states and is now international as well.
This year, 45 states and all U.S. territories, along with many other countries, are officially involved. People and organizations in all other states and countries can also register their drills through the ShakeOut site.
What's Your Exposure to Earthquake Shaking?
To learn about your exposure to ground shaking from an earthquake near you, check out the recently released 2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps. These maps reflect the best and most current understanding of where future earthquakes will occur, how often they will occur and how hard the ground will likely shake as a result.
What to Do During the Drill
Most people will hold their ShakeOut drills at 10:20 a.m. local time on Oct. 20 (though drills can be held anytime and on other days if necessary). If you are indoors, you should "Drop, Cover, and Hold On." Drop where you are onto your hands and knees, then crawl for cover under a nearby sturdy desk or table and hold on to it securely. If you are not near a desk or table, crawl against an interior wall, then protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, tall furniture, large appliances and kitchen cabinets filled with heavy objects or glass.
During the drill, look around and see what objects could fall during a potential earthquake, and make sure to secure or move those items after the drill.
If you happen to be outdoors in a real earthquake, move to a clear and open area if you can do so. Avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles and items that can fall on you. If you are driving, pull over to the side of the road and set the parking brake. Do not shelter under bridges, overpasses, power lines or traffic signs. Make sure to remain inside the vehicle until the shaking has stopped.