'Great ShakeOut' public earthquake drill registration begins
All Nevada residents, businesses, schools and organizations are urged to register now to be part of the world’s largest public earthquake drill - “The Great ShakeOut.” The University of Nevada, Reno’s Seismology Laboratory is again teaming Nevada up with California and new partners Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Guam to build awareness and get residents to practice how to respond in an earthquake.
The ShakeOut is a simple, coordinated “drop, cover and hold on” exercise to be held on Oct. 20 at 10:20 a.m. Last year 7.6 million Californians and 116,000 Nevadans participated. So far 7.7 million in California have signed up and 165,000 in Nevada. More than 8 million people participated in the bi-state event last year. To register as an individual, business, school or government agency or organization in Nevada, go to the official website www.shakeout.org/nevada. Go to the home page if you are in California.
“Nevadans need to realize they live in earthquake country,” Graham Kent, Nevada Seismological Laboratory director and coordinator of the Nevada event, 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.”
Participants are instructed, wherever they are Oct. 20 at 10:20 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.
“The beauty of this exercise is that it’s really easy,” Kent, a professor in the College of Science, said. “It’s an easy way for people to practice how to protect themselves during earthquakes. It’s an action that’s proven to help reduce injury and death during an earthquake. We’d like to see 500,000 participating this year and continue to keep growing the event year after year.”
Now in its second year, the Great Nevada ShakeOut serves as the annual statewide earthquake drill and is held on the third Thursday of October. Last year, Nevada was the first state to join with California in this massive effort to have people prepare and practice for earthquake response.
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 that building to prevent injury.
“With the recent large earthquakes occurring in the world in the past year, such as Japan and New Zealand, awareness is up and interest is high, making this an ideal time to impart important information to Nevada residents,” said Kent.
The state of Nevada lies within the Basin and Range Province, one of the most seismically active regions in the United States. Along with California and Alaska, Nevada ranks in the top three states subject to the most large-scale earthquakes over the last 150 years.