Millions Preparing for Great ShakeOut Next Week

Set to start at 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, the drill calls for participants to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" and also discuss their disaster plans.

More than 21 million people around the world have registered to participate in the Oct. 19 Great ShakeOut, with some 14 million U.S. participants already signed up for the event that tests earthquake preparedness. Set to start at 10:19 a.m., the drill calls for participants to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" and also discuss their disaster plans.

FEMA, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), and, in Ohio, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency are encouraging residents in that state to participate along with more than 2.1 million others in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill that day, though CUSEC notes the earthquake drill can be scheduled for a date and time more suitable for schools and businesses. "Ohio doesn't experience earthquakes on a large scale, but so far this year, we've had five that ranged between 2.1 and 3.8 magnitude," Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick said recently. "ShakeOut is more than a one-minute earthquake drill. ShakeOut is intended to get people talking and planning for earthquakes and other potential hazards and disasters, such as floods, fires, or tornadoes."

Great ShakeOut organizers have released a "ShakeOut at Your Workplace" video to help drill coordinators and participants plan their best ShakeOut, and at the Resilient Workplace website there are numerous resources, including "7 Steps to a Disaster Resilient Workplace," along with the QuakeSmart Community Resilience Program, which is a guided program to 1) identify risk, develop a plan, and take action to secure your space, systems, and structure, 2) prepare your staff, and 3) identify services your organization may provide to your community after a disaster. The Disaster Resistant Business program available there provides the internationally recognized DRB Toolkit®, tips, materials, and other resources to improve resilience.

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