Are You Ready to ShakeOut?
With 6.8 million people living and working in Washington, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. With earthquakes an inevitable part of Washington’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes.
The Great Washington ShakeOut in October 2012 will involve hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians through a broad-based outreach program, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. The drill will be held statewide annually on the third Thursday of October, and is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance (www.earthquakecountry.org). The 2012 Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill will be at 10:18 a.m. on October 18.
A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.
Not just any drill will accomplish this; it needs to be big. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event.
The 2012 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in U.S. history. To participate, go to www.ShakeOut.org/washington/register and pledge your family, school, business, or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants register (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice "drop, cover, and hold on" at the specified time. It is only a five-minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
For more information, visit www.ShakeOut.org/washington.