Saturday, February 04, 2012

Oklahomans Encouraged to Participate in Regional Earthquake Drill


Next Tuesday, February 7, Oklahomans are encouraged to join more than 2 million people in nine states as they "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" in a region-wide earthquake drill. The event, scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the Oklahoma Geological Survey and is part of the second annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.

In recent years Oklahoma has seen more earthquake activity, including a record-breaking 5.6 magnitude earthquake in November. The ShakeOut exercise is designed to help Oklahomans be better prepared in the event that a strong earthquake occurs in the state.

In Oklahoma, more than 45,000 people have already signed up to participate in the drill, including 134 Oklahoma schools, government agencies, and other organizations.

During the ShakeOut, participants will drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to the table for about 60 seconds until the exercise ends. Experts say this is the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake, since in the U.S. the primary threat for injury during an earthquake is falling debris and toppling objects, like bookcases and heavy electronics, rather than structural collapse.

Additionally, to emphasize the importance of earthquake preparedness, Gov. Mary Fallin has proclaimed February 7 as Earthquake Awareness Day in Oklahoma.

"In this state, we recognize the importance of being prepared for all types of disasters, including earthquakes, which is why we are taking part in this regional exercise," said OEM Director Albert Ashwood. "We applaud Oklahomans for their eagerness to join us in this effort."

This event is held in conjunction with the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, local emergency managers, and the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee

Individuals, schools and businesses are encouraged to participate in the ShakeOut exercise by registering online at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Registered participants will receive information about how to plan their drill.

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