Practicing for pizza: The Great Nevada ShakeOut is 10:19 on 10-19

Students can win a pizza or donut party for their class if they take and post a picture with #ShakeOutPizza

The 2008 Wells earthquake was the largest earthquake to occur in Nevada in the last 30 years. It was a damaging magnitude 6 earthquake that lasted 20 to 40 seconds. People were at home, at work and getting ready for school. Bricks were thrown from old buildings and one abandoned, two-story building collapsed. More than 30 buildings in town were damaged. Debris was thrown down from more than 20 buildings, in some cases covering the sidewalk with bricks, glass, and rubble. Two buildings partially collapsed.


10/18/2017 | By: Patrick Hardin |

Tomorrow, the University of Nevada, Reno will literally sound all the bells and whistles for the Great Nevada ShakeOut. At 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, sirens will sound all across campus, text messages and computer alerts will be sent out reminding everyone about the annual earthquake drill. Then, students will have the chance to win a party for their class.

Students on campus will have a chance to win free food after the ShakeOut. Any student who uses the hashtag #ShakeOutPizza on a picture posted to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that shows their class participating by taking cover under their desks in the ShakeOut will have the chance to win a pizza or donut party for their class. Students are encouraged to wait until the drill is over to take a picture, as one would wait until shaking stops during an actual earthquake to take pictures.

Take the time in your classroom, office or other campus location to "drop, cover and hold on" at 10:19 a.m. on 10/19 or when you receive notification via the test on the various channels of the emergency communication systems on campus.

You may see a text message and email about the earthquake drill and what to do, and the University's public address system with a loud siren will sound on the Reno main campus. Notifications will also be posted on Facebook and Twitter, the Police Services emergency AM radio station (AM 1670) and a scrolling banner will appear on public campus computers.

Since 2010 the University of Nevada, Reno has encouraged Nevadans to Drop, Cover and Hold On as part of the state and international campaign for earthquake safety and preparedness. The University will be activating their emergency alert systems, including sirens so those in the area should not be alarmed, but they should practice what to do during an earthquake.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On is the technique promoted by the Great Nevada ShakeOut as the safest way to protect yourself during an earthquake. In the event of an earthquake, people are encouraged to drop to their knees wherever they are, then use one arm to protect the head and neck while using the other hand to hold onto a sturdy table or desk that you are underneath. If a person cannot find something sturdy to hold on to, they should try to get close to an interior wall, and use both arms to protect your head and neck.

According to the Nevada Seismology Lab's website, "everyone in Nevada lives no more than several miles from an earthquake fault," which means that everybody in Nevada is in danger of being caught in an earthquake. Also, in Reno there are two major fault lines capable of a 7.0 or greater earthquake. A 7.0 earthquake can cause severe damage.

"Nevadans need to realize they live in earthquake country," Graham Kent, Nevada Seismological Laboratory director and coordinator of the Great Nevada ShakeOut, said.

"Whatever you do, don't run out of a building, that could be the most dangerous thing, with windows shattering, glass falling, or building materials coming crashing to the ground," Annie Kell, outreach coordinator for the Nevada Seismological Lab, said. "Not to mention in a violent earthquake you can be thrown to the ground and injured."

The Great Nevada ShakeOut is one part of the University's efforts to promote earthquake safety and emergency preparedness. The #ShakeOutPizza promotion is open to all University students and they are encouraged to enter following the annual drill. For more information, visit


For more news on the University of Nevada, Reno, follow @unevadareno on Twitter.

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