The Great ShakeOut program is a world-wide drill that prepares communities for future earthquakes. Around 200,000 people in the state have registered for the event.
Officials estimate there is a 25% to 40% probability that a damaging earthquake will hit Central U.S. within 50 years.
"Earthquakes are a risk every day of the year and can happen where you work, live or travel," said Moises Dugan, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. "The Great Shakeout earthquake drill is our chance to practice together how to protect ourselves, so we can save lives and prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes."
The drill covers the basics on how to stay safe by following drop, cover, and hold-on:
- Drop (or Lock): Wherever you are, drop down to your hands and knees and hold onto something sturdy. If you're using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.
- Hold on: If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms and hold on to your neck with both hands.
Officials also say to prepare before an earthquake occurs by securing moveable items within the home and having a disaster plan in place.
The Great ShakeOut earthquake drills are free and open to the public. To take part in the ShakeOut, register to participate at www.shakeout.org.