Thursday is the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill Day.
Reisterstown, Md (KM) State officials have reminded us to be prepared for hurricanes, blizzards, floods, high wants and other dangerous weather. But we also must be ready in case of an earthquake, according to Ed McDonough, spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.
He says nine years ago, August 23rd, 2011, Maryland and surrounding states were rattled by an earthquake with an epicenter in Mineral, Virginia. It had a magnitude of 5.8. “That 2011 earthquake was a great wakeup call for those of us in this area because it did show we are vulnerable to earthquakes,” he says.
Thursday, October 15th, is the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. At 10:15 AM, residents are asked to a drill on what they would do if the ground started shaking.
McDonough says these tremblers usually hit without warning, and you need to know what to do. “You take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or a sturdy table, and then you hold on. You grab on the table or the legs of the desk until the shaking stops,” he says.
He also says it’s a good idea not to go outside when the ground is shaking. “You’re more likely to be harmed if you’re outside by parts of a building falling off. Maybe some bricks falling off; or some glass falling off,” says McDonough. “So you’re actually safer in the building which will probably still be standing than you would be outside of the building where could be hit by falling debris.”
And being outside away from buildings, such as in a park, might be the safest, McDonough says. “If you’re in a park and not around any high rise buildings, you’re probably pretty safe. You might want to get down on the ground if the shaking is particularly bad.”
For more information on preparing for earthquakes, go to shakeout.org, and mema.maryland.gov.
By Kevin McManus