The annual Great ShakeOut exercise is coming up on Thursday, October 18. and it’s time to register to participate in what has become the world’s single largest emergency preparedness exercise.
Great ShakeOut earthquake drills are an opportunity to practice how to be safer during earthquakes: “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” ShakeOut also has been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to update emergency plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.
The County of Fresno is proud to take part in this important exercise and encourage others to register to participate as well!
Drop, Cover and Hold On!
Emergency experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes (learn why here). ShakeOut is an opportunity to practice how to protect yourselves during earthquakes.
DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand
If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter, If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
HOLD ON until shaking stops
If you’re under a shelter (table, desk, etc.), hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts. If you’re not under a shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
For those who use wheelchairs, walkers, or have difficulty or are unable to drop to the ground and get up again without assistance, resources and recommendations on what you can do to protect yourself are available at EarthquakeCountry.org/disability.
Check out this demo of Drop, Cover and Hold On in action…
Build Your Emergency Preparedness Kit
In addition to knowing what to do when an earthquake strikes, it’s also important to be prepared in advance of an earthquake (or any potential emergency situation) and have critical items and resources readily available to protect and sustain you and your loved ones should disaster occur.
A good rule of thumb for your Emergency Preparedness Kit is to have enough emergency essentials and supplies to support you and your family (including your pets) for at least 72 hours. This includes water, nonperishable food, any medications and more. Other suggested considerations for an emergency kit include, but are by no means limited to:
- Water (minimum one gallon a day for each person)
- Wrenches to turn off gas and water supplies
- Work gloves and protective goggles
- Heavy duty plastic bags for waste, and to serve as tarps, rain ponchos, and other uses
- Portable radio with extra batteries (or hand crank for charging)
- Additional flashlights or light sticks
- Canned and packaged foods
- Charcoal or gas grill for outdoor cooking and matches if needed
- Cooking utensils, including a manual can opener
- Pet food and pet restraints
- Comfortable, warm clothing including extra socks
- Blankets or sleeping bags, and perhaps even a tent
- Copies of vital documents such as insurance policies
It’s important to remember that disaster kits are not “one size fits all” and the needs of every individual and every household varies. Evaluate the specific needs of your family members and be sure to incorporate those needs into your planning.
Check out this video with some great tips on building an emergency preparedness kit from the American Red Cross.
There are countless resources available online to help you and your family prepare for earthquakes and any number of emergency situations. If you haven’t taken the time to do so, we hope that you will consider participating in the Great ShakeOut and learn more about some of the simple things that you can do to be prepared and stay safe.