“Drop, Cover and Hold On!”

"Drop, Cover and Hold on"

It’s a day like any other—you wake up, eat a bagel, drink coffee, go to work, school or even out to buy the groceries at your local supermarket. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. The sun is out, the sky is clear and there are people walking busily on the sidewalks.
All of a sudden the ground beneath you begins to shake and someone screams out “EARTHQUAAAAAKE!” What do you do?

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all Illinoisans to take part in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on Oct. 17, 2013, at 10:17 a.m. Millions of people across the country and around the world will be participating in the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill.

The American Red Cross is a leading partner of ShakeOut. Every year, the goal of the Red Cross and ShakeOut  is to create awareness of the earthquake hazard that exists in Illinois, across the country and around the world. The drill is meant for people to learn and practice what to do if they ever experience an earthquake.

While experiencing an earthquake in Illinois or the Midwest may seem unlikely, it is reported that some of the worst earthquakes that have taken place in the U.S. occurred during the winter of 1811-1812. The earthquakes shook the Mississippi River Valley along the Madrid Seismic Zone. Illinois is one of the seven states that can potentially be harmed.

Last February, more than 2.9 million people across the region participated in the ShakeOut and more than 592,600 of the participants were Illinoisans. The Great U.S. ShakeOut will now be held on the third Thursday of October each year. It will be a large-scale ShakeOut involving millions of participants from more than 40 states and territories and several other countries.

So if the ground ever began to shake, don’t panic. You practiced in the ShakeOut to “Drop, Cover and Hold On.”

For more information about the ShakeOut, log on to the ShakeOut website, http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/index.html. Here you will find more information and useful reference materials. Invite friends, families, businesses, schools and other organizations to participate in the ShakeOut.

In addition to participating in the ShakeOut, the American Red Cross website also has useful information pertaining to earthquakes that you can check out.

Written by: Diana Brokop

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