As part of its ongoing efforts to encourage Americans to prepare for all hazards, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging all Californians to participate in the "Great California ShakeOut" on Thursday, Oct. 20.
The ShakeOut is the state's annual public earthquake drill, organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance. During the drill, which will be conducted at 10:20 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, anyone can practice how to protect themselves during and after a major earthquake - whether at work, at home or at school. To date, over 8.4 million Californians have signed up, FEMA said in a news release.
"Californians have a strong tradition of practicing earthquake safety and have set a great example for the rest of us about how to prepare for disasters. The ShakeOut drill is a great way to get your ready for emergencies and connect with those who are also at risk for an earthquake," said FEMA Regional Administrator Nancy Ward in the release. "As recent earthquakes in Haiti, New Zealand, Japan, and the east coast of the U.S. remind us, earthquakes can strike anytime, anywhere - and often happen without warning. While we don't know where the next earthquake will strike, preparing for them helps people become more resilient in the face of a real disaster."
California's ShakeOut event continues to grow as the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history. Participating in the ShakeOut drill is simple and free - and everyone can participate, including businesses, government offices, organizations, neighborhoods, schools, and individuals. To join, visit www.shakeout.org/register and pledge your school, business, or organization's participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to talk with others about earthquake preparedness.
While FEMA encourages California residents to register for Thursday's ShakeOut event, the agency also said it encourages people across the country to prepare for earthquakes. Practicing for earthquakes should occur in all areas of the country and can be practiced at any time, even if there isn't an organized earthquake drill in your community. People can also visit www.ready.gov for important earthquake preparedness tips so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of an earthquake.
FEMA's mission is the support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards, the news release said.