Over 500K Oregonians participate in annual Great Shakeout drill

Author: KGW Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — People around the world and in the Pacific Northwest took part in an earthquake drill called The Great Shakeout Thursday morning. The aim is to give people at home, at work, or at school the chance to practice how to ‘drop, cover and hold on’ if the big one hits.

More than 540,000 people in Oregon and more than 1.3 million people in Washington signed up to participate in the drill at 10:21 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21.

According to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the safest thing to do in an earthquake is to drop onto hands and knees, cover the head and neck, crawl under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops.

Running outside or getting into a doorway is not recommended because objects could fall and cause injuries.

“Understanding what to do in the first few moments after a disaster can mean the difference between being a survivor and a victim,” said OEM Director Andrew Phelps in a news release. “As we work to build a culture of preparedness in Oregon, it is up to each of us – and all of us – to take action to reduce our risk.  Participating in the Great Oregon ShakeOut is a proactive step anyone can, and should, take.”

It’s also a good idea to come up with an emergency plan amongst family, friends and neighbors. Another way to stay prepared is to build an emergency kit that includes at least two weeks worth of food and water.

“Knowing what to do before, during and after an earthquake can save your life,” said OEM Geologic Hazards Coordinator Althea Rizzo. “The event also serves as a reminder to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies.”

Anyone interested in participating in the drill can register on The Great Shakeout’s website. Participants are encouraged to help spread the word about the event.


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