Here’s How to Participate in the Great Shakeout 2014
What we do now, before the earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after. Today you should register yourself or your organization to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.
Between now and your drill you can consider what may happen when an earthquake shakes your area. Plan what you will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to protect yourself and then recover quickly. See below for what to do if you have a disability or an activity limitation.
Download Audio and Video “Drill Broadcast” recordings that have been created to provide instructions during your drill (Video versions have text captions). This is a fun way to get the family involved and it adds an element of reality to the drill. The first year I did it by myself with the recording playing, its 57 seconds or narration and earthquake sound effects!
Talk to other people and your family about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared. Share the registration page on social media.
The Day of Your Drill You Should:
At 10:16 AM on 10/16/14 – Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds, use the recording to help you time it). Practice now so you will immediately protect yourself during earthquakes!
While still under the table, or wherever you are, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake.
- -What would fall on you or others?
- -What would be damaged?
- -What would life be like after?
- -What will you do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?
Finally, practice what you will do after the shaking stops. A great extra step is to practice how to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers. Texting first before making phone calls is highly recommended. You could also practice using the Red Cross Earthquake App and tell everyone you are safe.
Some ShakeOut Drill Facts
- -There are currently 18.7 million people registered for this year’s October 16th drill.
- -While most people participate in 26 ShakeOut Regions, 1,074,529 participants are registered in other regions worldwide.
- -K-12 schools and districts are the biggest participants, followed by colleges and universities -but even individual family’s can join in the fun.
Protect Yourself in Any Earthquake Situation
Federal, State, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. Great ShakeOut earthquake drills (www.shakeout.org) are opportunities to practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes.
You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense…so always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!
• DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
• Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
• HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
Do not move to another location or outside. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl. You are more likely to be injured if you try to move around during strong shaking. Also, you will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the big one…and that’s why you should always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!
These are guidelines for most situations. Read below to learn how to protect yourself in other situations and locations, or visit DropCoverHoldOn.
If you are unable to Drop, Cover, and Hold On: If you have difficulty getting safely to the floor on your own, get as low as possible, protect our head and neck, and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you.
In a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.
In bed: If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.
In a high-rise: Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems or fire alarms activate.
In a store: When Shaking starts, Drop Cover and Hold On. A shopping cart or getting inside clothing racks can provide some protection. If you must move to get away from heavy items on high shelves, drop to the ground first and crawl only the shortest distance necessary. Whenever you enter any retail store, take a moment to look around: What is above and around you that could move or fall during an earthquake? Then use your best judgment to stay safe.
Outdoors: Move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards.
Driving: Pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.
In a stadium or theater: Stay at your seat or drop to the floor between rows and protect your head and neck with your arms. Don’t try to leave until the shaking is over. Then walk out slowly watching for anything that could fall in the aftershocks.
Near the shore: Drop, Cover, and Hold On until the shaking stops. If severe shaking lasts twenty seconds or more, immediately evacuate to high ground as a Tsunami might have been generated by the earthquake. Move inland two miles or to land that is at least 100 feet above sea level immediately. Don’t wait for officials to issue a warning. Walk quickly, rather than drive, to avoid traffic, debris and other hazards.
Below a dam: Dams can fail during a major earthquake. Catastrophic failure is unlikely, but if you live downstream from a dam, you should know flood-zone information and have prepared an evacuation plan.
12 Ways to involve the family before the Great Shakeout 2014
- Do a “hazard hunt” for items that might fall in your home earthquakes and secure them. Do an inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and cause possible injuries. Move or secure these items to provide a safer environment.
- Create a personal or family disaster-preparedness plan.
- Plan for your family’s specific needs (seniors, disabled, children, pets).
- Teach all household members how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Organize or refresh your emergency supply kits. Be prepared for the possibility that you, your family or those in your school or work place may need to remain in place for 2-3 days.
- Have at least 1 gallon (4 liters) of water storage per person, per day
- What other supplies might you need if transportation routes were blocked and you needed to remain in the same place for an extended length of time?
- Organize and refresh your emergency equipment – fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, crank radios, satellite phones, generators, fuel; make sure everyone in your family knows the location and how to utilize supplies.
- What else would you need to be on your own for up to 2 weeks?
- What would you need if you are in your car or office when the earthquake strikes?
- Create a game where everyone responds to a signal by practicing Drop Cover and Hold On.
- Talk to children about what to expect during and after an earthquake.
Participate in the Great ShakeOut 2014 and make a difference in the safety of your family. Sign up today!