Each year millions of Washington residents – including the QuakeQuotes insurance team – “drop, cover, and hold on” in the Great Washington ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. The ShakeOut is held on the third Thursday of October.
Why Should You Participate
During an earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down or something falls on you. The Great Washington ShakeOut Earthquake Drill is our chance to practice how to respond quickly when the ground starts shaking. The goal is to prevent a major earthquake from becoming a catastrophe for you and your community.
Washington’s Earthquake Risk
Did you know Washington has the second highest earthquake risk in the country?
Recent geologic studies have proven Washington state has more earthquake fault lines than previously thought. Unlike most other earthquake-prone, Washington state has a piece of the earth’s crust, known as a tectonic plate, that is literally being pushed under another tectonic plate. This creates tension, which is ultimately released in the form of an earthquake.
Washington’s fault lines produce more than 1,000 earthquakes per year – that’s more than three earthquakes per day. This is why Washington is earthquake country.
Drop, Cover, and Hold On
During the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, QuakeQuotes agent Laura Paradis ran outside in a panic. It’s easy to respond in a fight or flight manner like this when disaster stikes. That’s why the Great Washington ShakeOut Earthquake Drill encourages us to practice how to drop, cover, and hold on.
The Great Washington ShakeOut Earthquake Drill teaches us to immediately:
Drop. Drop to the floor. During a large earthquake, the ground might jerk strongly and knock you down. Being on your hands and needs protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
Cover. First, cover your head and neck with one arm and hand. Then take cover under something sturdy, such as a table or desk, to protect yourself from objects that can be thrown across the room. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall away from any windows. Stay on your knees, and bend over to protect vital organs.
Hold On. Hold on to your shelter with one hand until the shaking stops. Be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts. If you were unable to find shelter, hold onto your head and neck with both arms and hands.
If you can’t get under something, stay low and protect your head and neck with your arms.
After you practice how to drop, cover, and hold on, be sure to practice your disaster communication plan. Text your location and status to your loved ones. Then, practice calling your out of area contacts.
All these steps will help you become one step closer to becoming earthquake ready.
Organizing Your ShakeOut Earthquake Drill
Whether you’re working remotely, in an office setting, or at home with your family, you can practice your earthquake-response skills.
Play the following 60-second earthquake drill broadcast when you want to hold your drill. It walks you through the steps of how to safely drop, cover, and hold on. For more information on how you can participate and hold your earthquake drill, visit the Great Washington ShakeOut Earthquake Drill’s website by clicking here.