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District Of Columbia Announces Third Annual Great Southeast Shakeout Earthquake Drill

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Contact:  Robyn T. Johnson (202) 481-3010; [email protected];

(Washington, DC) - On August 23,2011 the District of Columbia experienced a M5.8 earthquake that originated in Mineral, Virginia and affected the entire Eastern Seaboard, causing millions of dollars in damages to several national landmarks including the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian Institute and the National Cathedral which are all undergoing multi-year restoration’s as a result.  Our schools, commercial businesses, residential properties, infrastructure and other assets also sustained considerable damages.  This event has had lasting effects on the District of Columbia and other municipalities throughout the National Capital Region (NCR) and brought to bear the realization that most of us did not really know what to do during a major earthquake.

It is uncertain when the next damaging earthquake will strike, but you can act now to be prepared.  When properly prepared and informed you are more likely to respond appropriately and recovery quickly from a big earthquake.  Practice is essential.  On October 16, 2014 at 10:16 a.m. EDT, you can join millions of people worldwide, and the hundreds of thousands of people registered to participate in the District of Columbia, to take part in the District’s Third Annual Great SouthEast ShakeOut.  The ShakeOut is a regional earthquake drill in which participants simultaneously practice the recommended action during an earthquake.  This action, known as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” means:

• DROP to the ground
• Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
• HOLD-ON to it until the shaking stops

The ShakeOut is coordinated annually by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC, www.cusec.org), the District of Columbia, and the eastern seaboard states from Maryland to Georgia.  The goal of the program is to engage participants to take quake-safe action when seconds count.  The drill is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. You can join them today by registering at http://www.shakeout.org/southeast/register/ for the 2014 Great SouthEast ShakeOut.  Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills began in California in 2008 and have expanded each year since.

Collectively, there are more than 23 million people expected to participate in the ShakeOut drills on October 16th, at 10:16 a.m. which makes this the largest safety drill ever held.  Interested citizens, schools, communities, businesses, etc. are encouraged to visit the District Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency website www.hsema.dc.gov or CUSEC’s site www.shakeout.org/southeast to pledge their participation in the drill. On these websites, many resources are available for participants to plan their drills including drill manuals, videos, audio drill broadcasts, earthquake scenarios, and more.


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The Mission of the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency is to lead the planning and coordination of homeland security and emergency management efforts to ensure that the District of Columbia is prepared to prevent, protect against, respond to, mitigate, and recover from all threats and hazards.

2720 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20032-2601 (202) 727-6161 www.hsema.dc.gov