Half-a-Million Tennesseans Sign Up for Oct. 16 ShakeOut
NASHVILLE, TENN. – Tennessee is leading 10 states in participant registrations for the 2014 Central U.S. ShakeOut, an annual event to educate people on how they can protect themselves in a major earthquake.
More than 512,000 Tennesseans have signed up for this year’s ShakeOut, representing 274,000 individuals from daycares and K-12 schools, 141,000 from colleges and universities, and 33,000 from businesses. In 2013, Tennessee registered 332,509 ShakeOut participants.
The fifth annual ShakeOut will be held at 10:16 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. During the self-led drill, participants will practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique, where they will:
- DROP to the ground;
- Take COVER under a sturdy desk or table, or cover your head/neck with your arms; and
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops.
“Many Tennesseans are surprised to learn that a major earthquake is the number one catastrophic threat to our state,” said Deputy Commissioner Dave Purkey of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA). “They think earthquakes only happen in California. But the threat is real and the time is now to learn how you can protect yourself, your family, your business and your community.”
Other states participating in the ShakeOut include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma.
Scientists estimate that there is a 25 to 40 percent probability of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within a 50-year window of time.
“Our record enrollment this year is statement to how seriously many of our communities, schools and businesses take the earthquake threat,” said Cecil Whaley, TEMA’s earthquake coordinator. “As long as the earthquake threat remains, we will continue our efforts to educate individuals, communities, schools, businesses and government agencies on how to respond if the ground shakes.”
The ShakeOut is coordinated by TEMA, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of partners.
Those interested in the ShakeOut can visit www.shakeout.org/centralus and register to participate in the drill. Many resources are available on the website for participants including earthquake drill manuals, audio and video broadcasts and earthquake scenarios.
As the lead State of Tennessee agency for promoting personal preparedness, TEMA works directly with local emergency management agencies and other federal, state and local authorities to help the public prepare for the next disaster.