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Are You Ready to ShakeOut?

With 37 million people living and working in California, 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 California’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do not become catastrophes. 

The Great California ShakeOut in October 2010 involved over 7.9 million Californians through a broad-based outreach program, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. The drill is now held statewide annually on the third Thursday of October, and is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance (www.earthquakecountry.org).  The 2011 Great California ShakeOut! earthquake drill will be at 10:20 a.m. on October 20th. 

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 safety techniques, and to learn what plans need to be improved.

Not just any drill will accomplish this: it needs to be big.  The drill must inspire communities to come together.  Children and parents must be involved at school and at work, prompting conversations at home.  Every organization, business, and citizen needs to be aware of the ShakeOut and to make it their own event.  

The 2011 Great California ShakeOut! drill will be the largest preparedness event in U.S. history.  Organizers ask that participants register, so they can be counted and receive communications, and practice “drop, cover, and hold on” at the specified time. To register, go to www.ShakeOut.org/register and make a pledge for your family, school, business, or organization to participate in the drill. Registration is free and open to everyone.  Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. This five minute commitment to your family, business, and community can help you save a life—maybe even your own. For more information, visit www.ShakeOut.org.

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Tags: Education, Featured Story, Health

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