Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Millions of people will do just that on Thursday, October 21st at 10:21 AM as part of the world’s largest earthquake drill. Prior to the development of The Great ShakeOut, there were no cohesive or universal drill efforts, but the annual event began as a way to help people practice the physical actions that will keep them safe during an earthquake along with planning and gearing up.
Why Do We Do It?
The Great ShakeOut was developed to help earthquake prone areas prepare for the devastation of an actual earthquake. Similar to what we do here at Redfora, The Great ShakeOut wants people to understand the importance of education, preparedness, and practice.
Nearly half of all Americans are exposed to potentially damaging earthquakes based on where they work and live, but we tend to stop practicing the actions we know can save lives once we’re out of elementary school. It’s important to go through the actual actions together to build that muscle memory and most importantly normalize what to do in an emergency to avoid any panic.
How can I participate at home?
In the past, you’ve probably participated in the Great ShakeOut at the office or in school, but with many employees still working from home, it might be your first time practicing an earthquake drill at home, but don’t take that as an excuse to skip out.
At 10:21 AM you should take these steps and hold for one minute:
- Drop to the ground and get to under a sturdy piece of furniture like a table. Getting on the ground helps to protect you from getting knocked down.
- Cover your neck and head. Use one arm to cover your neck and head while you’re under a sturdy surface. If there is no sturdy table nearby then get to an interior wall away from windows and stay in a crouched position with your hands over your head and neck to protect your body.
- Hold On. If you’re under a table, use your other hand to hold on to a leg of the table. Be ready to move with it if it shifts. If you’re not under a shelf, use both your hands to cover your head and neck.
Want a gold star? Take a pic or photo while doing this to show others that you’re focused on safety and committed to preparation. If we all inspire at least one other person to practice and prepare, this can be the most successful Great ShakeOut yet!
Pro Tips for participating in the Great ShakeOut:
- Include everyone in your household that is home during the drill. This means you should include your pets too! After all, in the event of an actual earthquake you would want them in a safe spot as well.
- Practice with your earthquake bag. Having a kit with food, water, first-aid, comfort items, and tools can give you peace of mind knowing you and your family are prepared if you do need to evacuate or shelter in place after a large earthquake. If you have an earthquake bag, be sure to practice grabbing it and bringing it with you to your designated safe spot during your drill.
- Create your Emergency Communication Plan. Emergency planning and preparation amplify your emergency kit(s) and earthquake drills by considering what happens when we set our physical surroundings up for safety and pool resources to support others.
Be prepared for any disastrous effects, displacement, or evacuation. Practice the steps to take during an earthquake with The Great ShakeOut and practice the steps to take post-quake with The Earthquake Bag.