The Great Nevada Shakeout is preparing for its largest event in its three-year history. Thursday, October 18, 2012, at 10:18 a.m. is the world’s largest public earthquake drill with nearly 18 million people participating globally.
More than a half a million Nevadans are registered to participate in the annual statewide public earthquake drill, and with just a few days to go the Nevada Seismological Laboratory would like 100,000 more people registered.
“The Great Nevada ShakeOut is a simple drill to help people be ready for an earthquake,” Graham Kent, director of the Seismological Lab and lead organizer of the Nevada drill, said. “Every public school district in Nevada is participating, plus the University of Nevada, Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College. That’s a lot of students. Now we’re focusing on getting parents and their employers – whether private or government – to register and participate. Everyone in Nevada needs to have a plan and practice for an earthquake.”
The Great Nevada ShakeOut is a simple, coordinated “drop, cover and hold-on” exercise to be held on 10/18 at 10:18 a.m. To register as an individual, business, school or government agency or organization, go to www.shakeout.org/nevada. All Nevada residents are encouraged to register and participate.
“Nevadans need to realize they live in earthquake country,” Kent, Nevada state seismologist and professor in the College of Science, said. “Nevada has the third highest incidence of large earthquakes in the United States. A major earthquake in any community, north or south, is possible. We can’t prevent an earthquake, so we have to be resilient, to be prepared so we can perhaps lessen the impacts on lives, emergency response and economic destruction that a major earthquake can cause.”
Participants are instructed, wherever they are on 10/18 at 10:18 a.m. — at home, at work, at school, anywhere, unless they are driving — to drop, cover, and hold-on, as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and to stay in that position for at least 60 seconds, which is about the time it takes to register for the earthquake drill.
Now in its third year, the Great Nevada ShakeOut serves as the annual statewide earthquake drill and is held on the third Thursday of October. In 2010, Nevada was the first state to join with California in this massive effort to encourage people to prepare and practice for earthquake response. Now there are 15 states involved in the Great Shakeout, making this the largest public earthquake drill in the world.
This year, there are participants in Japan, New Zealand, southern Italy, Canada and several other countries. There are 8.6 million participants in California, where the ShakeOut originated, and 53,000 in Alaska, which joined the ShakeOut this year.
Participants are also encouraged to practice other aspects of emergency plans and to “secure your space,” which includes retrofitting buildings to reduce damage and securing things within buildings to prevent injury.