Shake it Up Baby! California’s Annual Earthquake Drills

Tomorrow (October 15, 2015) public and private organizations across the globe will participate in the annual Great ShakeOut sponsored by the Southern California Earthquake Center. Currently, over 40 million participants are registered. The majority of registered participants are K-12 schools and colleges/universities, accounting for over 30 million of the drill’s participants.

Regionally, 10.4 million participants from California more than doubles the number of participants from any other region (the closest being Japan with 4.2 million).

While planning a drill, participants are encouraged to (1) plan the best way to protect themselves and then recover quickly; and (2) compare strategies with other people and organizations to facilitate the sharing of good survival techniques.

During the drill, participants are instructed to “drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening ([staying] down for at least 60 seconds).” The purpose of the extended amount of time “covered” is so that participants can contemplate the following questions: “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?” After the minute is up, participants are instructed to confer with members of their community on how to react in the aftermath of a serious earthquake.

Click here to register for the Great ShakeOut.

For more resources on Earthquakes and Social Media Use in Emergencies, visit the Homeland Security Digital Library (some documents may require HSDL login).


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