On Oct. 19 at 10:19 a.m., more than 74,500 Arizonans will "Drop, Cover and Hold On" as part of the Great Arizona ShakeOut earthquake preparedness drill. This includes tens of thousands of school-age children; university students and staff; county, state and federal employees; tribal communities; health facilities; civic groups and businesses.
Participation in the ShakeOut is free and open to the public. Enrollment is available online to families, businesses or schools at www.shakeout.org/arizona/.
Each year, about 100 earthquakes are recorded in Arizona. Most go unfelt, but the potential for rare, life-threatening, large-magnitude earthquakes exists. On Nov. 1, 2015, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake near Black Canyon City, Arizona, rocked hundreds of thousands of people in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Geologic faults in Arizona, surrounding states and Mexico are capable of producing damaging earthquakes up to magnitude 7.5. Such large events could cause strong and damaging ground shaking across the state.
During an earthquake, the greatest immediate danger in homes and buildings is from flying or falling items such as ceiling tiles, furniture, flat-screen TVs, pictures, lights, mirrors and ceiling fans. Lessons learned from the two-minute ShakeOut "Drop, Cover and Hold On" exercise can protect people from serious injury.
ShakeOut drills inform people at school, work and home how to prepare for and survive the next damaging earthquake. At 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, all Arizonans are asked to:
- "Drop" to the ground.
- "Take Cover" under a sturdy table or desk and protect your head and neck.
- "Hold On" until the shaking stops.
"The Great ShakeOut is a simple way to demonstrate earthquake preparedness. I encourage all Arizonans to set aside two minutes to drop, take cover and hold on for ShakeOut," said Wendy Smith-Reeve, deputy director of the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs and director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.
Arizona joins California, Nevada, Oregon and 27 other states that will host ShakeOut events on Oct. 19. Worldwide, more than 20 million people will engage in the ShakeOut, including 14.1 million people in the U.S.
For additional information on preparing for, responding to and recovering from an earthquake, see "Arizona Is Earthquake Country," a 44-page online publication that includes a detailed seven-step earthquake safety guide.
Partners in the Great Arizona Shakeout 2017 include the Arizona Geological Survey, Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, local emergency management offices, American Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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