2015 Great Nevada ShakeOut about to rumble around campus

Get ready to Drop, Cover & Hold On in public earthquake drill

2015 Great Nevada ShakeOut about to rumble around campus

Get ready to Drop, Cover & Hold On in public earthquake drill

How prepared or unprepared are you for an earthquake? The Great Nevada ShakeOut is here to help.

For the sixth year in a row, the University of Nevada, Reno, along with the rest of the state and 20 million people around the country, will engage in the Great ShakeOut. On Oct. 15th at 10:15 a.m., the campus community will participate in the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" public earthquake drill.

It is recommended and encouraged for professors, resident advisors and the rest of the university community to promote and announce the Great Nevada ShakeOut for the full benefit of students learning earthquake drills.

"We are excited for this year's Great Nevada ShakeOut, as we have 25,000 registered participants on campus and throughout our campus community statewide who will take part by receiving a notification from us during the exercise," Commander Todd Renwick of University Police Services said.

Renwick said the campus community will be able to learn about earthquakes, and the drill will also provide the opportunity for the campus to test its Emergency Notification Systems. This includes emails, text messages and messages that appear on computers around campus.

"We hope to get our campus community familiar with our Emergency Notification Systems and educate them on earthquakes and preparedness," Renwick said.

The outdoor notification system on campus includes sirens, which are a major security and safety trait for the University. The sirens are specifically designed to sound during demanding situations like violent crimes and natural disasters. They are very loud and can be heard throughout campus and parts of the nearby community.

For the ShakeOut, whether in a classroom, residential hall or cafeteria, everyone should "drop, cover and hold on" as soon as the campus is notified with sirens and signals. The sirens will sound for 60 seconds.

Graham Kent, director of the University's Nevada Seismological Laboratory, brought the ShakeOut to Nevada and the University campus.

"One-in-five Nevadans are registered for the ShakeOut," Kent said. "And we are still in our 61 year 'drought' for large magnitude 7 earthquakes in the state. Sooner than later, our streak will likely end."

This year, the Great Nevada ShakeOut has a new theme in which Kent hopes everyone will participate.

"The theme this year is to have a 'family kit' ready," he said. "That is three to seven days of water and food around your house or apartment, plus emergency contact numbers, matches and flashlights."

Nevadans are also encouraged to practice other aspects of emergency plans and to "secure your space," which includes retrofitting buildings to reduce damage and securing things within buildings to prevent injury.

"Students should take a look around their dorm rooms, apartments or houses to look for objects that could fall off shelves and walls or topple over and cause injury - and secure them," Kent said.

There are more than 610,000 Great Nevada ShakeOut participants, and counting, surpassing last year's mark of 570,000. Worldwide, 23.1 million people will be participating.

For more information on the event and how to prepare for an earthquake, go to www.shakeout.org/nevada/.

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