University helps educate Nevada residents for earthquakes

2/18/2010 - By: Natalie Savidge

Nevada Earthquake Awareness Week, Feb. 21-27, serves as a reminder about the potential for earthquakes and how to prepare for them. In support of this education effort, the Nevada Seismological Laboratory and the University of Nevada, Reno are inviting Nevada schools to participate by conducting a school-wide earthquake drill on Feb. 24.

The free earthquake-drill program provided to schools – including an audio recording of the drill and related educational materials – is available online, making the opportunity to practice quake-safe actions available to anyone who wants to prepare to act quickly and correctly when a real earthquake strikes.

“This is a great way for Nevadans to learn more and prepare for earthquakes,” said Graham Kent, director of the University’s Nevada Seismological Laboratory and professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering. “We are excited to partner with many organizations in helping the state, especially students, know what to do during an earthquake.”

University seismologists, the Nevada State Seismologist, Washoe County’s Emergency Manager, and school staff will all participate in a media briefing and drill planned for elementary school students at St. Albert’s School at 10 a.m., Feb. 24, using materials from the online program.

The online earthquake-drill program offers suggestions for classroom activities and projects that students can take home to complete with their families. This includes a checklist to help families build an emergency preparedness kit. All materials in the program emphasize the simple mantra of what to do during an earthquake, DROP, COVER and HOLD: drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops.

The State of Nevada is located in “earthquake country.” It lies within the Basin and Range Province, one of the most seismically active regions in the United States. Along with California and Alaska, Nevada ranks in the top three states subject to the most large-scale earthquakes over the last 150 years.

“With the recent earthquake in Haiti, awareness is up and interest is high, making this an ideal time to impart important information to Nevada residents,” said Kent.

Nevada Earthquake Awareness Safety Week is sponsored by the Nevada Earthquake Safety Council, a statewide partnership of the public and private organizations with a 22-member board of directors.


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