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September 18, 2013
By Abbie Walker
The Great Nevada ShakeOut organized by the University of Nevada, Reno's Nevada Seismological Laboratory will be held Thursday, Oct.17 at 10:17 a.m. as students, faculty and staff are reminded to 'Drop, Cover, and Hold On.'
The Great Nevada ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice earthquake safety and prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake. The ShakeOut is not something individuals need to leave work to participate in; in fact, participation at work is encouraged. Businesses, organizations, schools, and government agencies can register and have their employees practice the "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" action or have a more extensive emergency drill. It is an opportunity to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure spaces in order to prevent damage and injuries.
"In our seismically active state it's important to be ready for an earthquake." said Graham Kent, geophysicist and director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory in the College of Science.
All individuals on the University campus Oct.17 at 10:17 a.m., wherever they are, are asked to drop, cover, and hold on as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and to stay in that position for at least 60 seconds, which is about the time it takes to register for the earthquake drill.
More than 530,000 Nevadan's are signed up to participate in the earthquake drill including the University.
"The theme for this year's Great Nevada ShakeOut is making a family plan," Kent said. "Households around Nevada are encouraged to find a neutral location other than their home or local neighborhood to meet after an earthquake or other natural catastrophe in the event that family members are separated and are unable to re-enter their neighborhood."
The State of Nevada lies within 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 largest earthquakes throughout the last 150 years.
The Great Nevada ShakeOut is part of the world-wide Great ShakeOut conducted in conjunction with National Preparedness Month and with more than 12.4 million people worldwide registered to participate. In the United States there are approximately 39 states participating.
For more information about the earthquake drill visit the Great Nevada ShakeOut website at http://www.shakeout.org/nevada/index.html.
Abbie Walker is a graduate student writer with the Communications Office.