Are you participating in the largest worldwide earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut? On Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m., more than 22.7 million people worldwide and 535,000 people in Nevada will be practicing how to drop, cover and hold on. This one-minute earthquake drill teaches us to react quickly when the Earth begins to suddenly shake. You might only have seconds to protect yourself and practicing helps you be ready to respond.
Before an Earthquake
Make sure you have an emergency kit packed. Your emergency kit should include enough water for three days for each person, a flashlight, warm clothes, bandages and medication in case someone gets hurt.
If you have a mobile device, download the FEMA mobile application in order to get alerts, emergency shelter locations in your area, as well as disaster recovery centers nearby. Remember to bring a phone charger as well as pen and paper to communicate with others.
Make some time to create a disaster plan with your family. Take a walk around your neighborhood and plan out an escape route, as well as a meet-up point where everyone can go in case of an emergency.
Go around your home or work area and find places inside that are sturdy and can be a cover during an earthquake. You can also check for loose objects that might easily fall from high places. Secure them so that they will not fall and be dangerous during an earthquake.
During an Earthquake
“Drop” to your hands and knees. Stay inside the building that you are in and protect yourself from falling objects. If you are outside when the earthquake occurs, drop to your knees and make sure you are in a large open area that does not have anything that can fall on top or around you.
“Cover” your head, neck and seek protection under a sturdy object. Be sure all parts of your body are covered by a sturdy object. If you cannot cover your whole body, then make sure your head is safely covered.
“Hold on” to an object until the earthquake is over. Make sure to sit under sturdy objects and stay away from doorways. Stay in place until the earthquake is completely over. Do not try to run over to a family member or someone that you see.
After the Earthquake
Stay away from unsafe areas. This includes small spaces with a lot of loose objects that can fall at any moment. When outside, stay away from power lines that have fallen to the ground because they can still be producing electricity and shock you if you come too close.
Stay indoors until the shaking stops. You are safer in a sturdy building than being out in the open. Be aware of your surroundings; make sure you know an escape route in case an aftershock occurs. An aftershock is when the underground rock begins to shake again. An aftershock can be the same strength, stronger or weaker than the original earthquake. If you are outside, go to an open area where there are no trees, buildings or power lines around you. An aftershock can last a couple of seconds, but they are still very dangerous and can cause objects to fall around you.
Join your community and improve your level of preparedness; we are all in this together! Anyone in Nevada can participate in the 2019 ShakeOut Drill. Many organizations including schools, health care facilities and neighborhoods have registered to participate in the 2019 Great Nevada ShakeOut; have you? To see if your organization is registered, visit www.shakeout.org/nevada/whoisparticipating/. To register for the Great Nevada ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org/nevada/register/.
Carson City Health and Human Services urges everyone to take steps to be better prepared for an earthquake. To learn more about earthquake preparedness, visit ready.gov/earthquakes. For information about services and programs available to you through Carson City Health and Human Services, please visit our website at gethealthycarsoncity.org, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cchhs, like us on Twitter at @CCHealthEd, follow us on Instagram at @GetHealthCarsonCity or call us at 775-887-2190. You can also find us at 900 E. Long St. in Carson City.