Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Are YOU ready to SHAKEOUT?

With more the 40 million people living and working in the central U.S., a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. With earthquakes an inevitable part of this region’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut in April 2011 will involve more than one million people through a broad-based outreach program, partnership with media, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. This event is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (http://www.cusec.org) and the states of: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The 2011 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill will be held at 10:15 AM local time on April 28, 2011 (April 19 in Indiana)
A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.
Not just any drill will accomplish this; it needs to be big. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event.
The 2011 ShakeOut drill will be the largest preparedness event in central U.S. history. To participate, go to www.ShakeOut.org/centralus and pledge your family, school, business, or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants register (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice "drop, cover, and hold on" at the specified time. It is only a five minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
For more information, visit www.ShakeOut.org/centralus.