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Great Central US Shakeout Multi-state Earthquake Drill

Thursday, communities in 10 states will take part in the fourth Great Central U.S. ShakeOut multi-state earthquake drill. The ShakeOut is scheduled for Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. local time. During the drill, millions of people simultaneously practice the recommended response to earthquake shaking, and Drop, Cover, and Hold On:

DROP to the ground, Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, or cover your head/neck with your arms, and, HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Scientists estimate there is a 25-40 percent probability of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within a 50-year window of time. The ShakeOut is designed to help individuals and communities get ready for these earthquakes, practice how to protect themselves and to prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. Currently, states participating in the ShakeOut include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Following FEMA’s National Preparedness Month in September, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are occurring nationwide in more than 43 states and territories. Currently, more than 15 million people are expected to participate in drills on Oct. 17. During the self-led ShakeOut drill, participants perform a variety of disaster safety activities, including:

  • Practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On
  • Testing emergency plans or procedures
  • Updating disaster supply kits
  • Securing items that may fall or cause injury during an earthquake

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, consortium member and associate states, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of other partners. The drill is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills began in California in 2008 and have expanded each year since then.

Interested citizens, schools, communities and businesses are encouraged to visit www.shakeout.org/centralus to register to participate in the drill. On the website, many resources are available for participants to use during the ShakeOut drill including:

  • Drill manuals
  • Audio and video drill broadcasts
  • Earthquake scenarios

Earthquakes are common in Kentucky, and several faults impact our communities, with the largest and best known being the New Madrid Seismic Zone in far western Kentucky. To learn more about the Kentucky Earthquake Program visit www.kyem.ky.gov.

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