On October 15 International Shakeout day is observed with the mission to educate the public about the importance of taking immediate action in case of an earthquake. This day, which falls on the third Thursday in October, remains our best opportunity to learn (and practice) how to protect ourselves and put our loved ones out of harm’s way. If you live in an earthquake prone area, then you know how scary it can be when a tremor comes out of nowhere. Let us illustrate for you the importance of this day.
History of International ShakeOut Day
The first ever shakeout drill took place in California on November 13, 2008, then known as The Great Southern California ShakeOut, in efforts to educate the highly-seismic state in earthquake safety. More than five million people took part in the drill, with more joining the cause internationally in earthquake prone countries. In 2016, more than 55 million people across the United States and in more than 60 other countries participated in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.
The ShakeOut organization usually promotes one of the most important techniques to protect yourself and your loved ones from any strong seismic event, which is called “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” Medical and emergency organizations all across the United States agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes.
The method involves dropping to the ground, covering your head or body, preferably by getting under a table, and holding onto furniture. In cases where an earthquake is less violent, you might be able to move away from risky areas, for example, breaking windows or falling hubris. Given the dynamics of earthquakes and their effects on structures, “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the single most useful instruction that you can follow to protect yourself in the majority of situations. Running outside or getting into a doorway is not recommended, as falls and damage from falling debris are common in earthquakes.
The annual date of the International ShakeOut Day is on the third Thursday of every month and was selected in 2009. Depending of the location, ShakeOut drills could be held on other days at convenience, and at least ask you to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill.