World’s largest earthquake drill to take place Oct. 15

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Registration open to join more than 50k IL participants

Information provided by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (October 5, 2020) – The World’s Largest Earthquake Drill will take place at 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2020 and the Illinois Emergency Management Agencies is encouraging all families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to register to participate in this quick and easy preparedness drill.

ShakeOut is an international event involving millions of participants from more than 40 states and territories and several countries. The goal of this “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drill is to improve preparedness and draw attention to the earthquake hazards that exist in Illinois, across the country and around the world.

Millions of people around the world have already registered online. In Illinois, more than 50,000 Illinoisans have registered within the last two weeks. To date, more than 152,000 people have pledged to participate in this annual exercise. Local emergency managers throughout the state are hoping to increase that number as the day of the drill approaches.

“Fire drills and tornado drills are common practices in schools and at businesses, but not everyone knows what they should do in the event of an earthquake,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “We cannot predict when or where the next devastating earthquake will occur, but we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”

Due to COVID-19, work and school environments are changing. With people working from home and students learning remotely, the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) has developed toolkits for homeschools, individuals, and families to utilize. As with any year, you can schedule a ShakeOut drill when and where you want it, whether that’s at work, home, school, or through a video conference.

Earthquakes can occur at any time, anywhere, and without warning. While we often associate earthquakes with the west coast, quakes can and do occur in Illinois, which is positioned between two active seismic zones, the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. Earthquakes were reported in Illinois in 2012 (McHenry County), 2010 (Kane County), and 2008 (Wabash County). In fact, an earthquake in any neighboring states could be felt by residents in Illinois. ShakeOut provides the opportunity for residents to practice what they would do in the event of an earthquake, which can happen at any time—at work, school, or home

3 steps of participation

  1. REGISTER your home, school, business, or organization on the ShakeOut website. Once registered, your point of contact will receive important information about earthquakes and preparedness.
  2. MAKE A PLAN. Build an emergency supply kit for your family. Talk to your family members about what you should do in the event of an earthquake. Secure heavy items in your home like bookcases, refrigerators, televisions, and objects that hang on the wall. Evaluate your home for structural issues.
  3. PRACTICE “DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON” on October 15, 2020, at 10:15 am.
    • Drop to the ground onto your hands and knees.
    • Cover your head and neck with one arm to protect yourself from falling objects.
    • Hold On to a sturdy table or desk until the shaking is done.

These are the recommended actions to protect yourself during an earthquake. Additional earthquake preparedness and mitigation information is available on the following websites: http://www.ready.illinois.gov and http://www.cusec.org.