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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Get Prepared for Earthquakes with the Great ShakeOut

 Story by Rochelle Ball

Throughout elementary school, we all had the phrase “stop, drop and roll” engrained in our heads as the motto for home fire safety, but have you ever heard “drop, cover and hold on”?
While home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds too, there are many other disasters that individuals should be prepared for – one of those being earthquakes. Yes, earthquakes.
While not too common in the Rocky Mountain Region, Colorado has experienced a few notable earthquakes, the largest being a 6.6 out of 10 magnitude on the Richter scale in November 1882. More recently, two 5.3 earthquakes have been recorded, one in August 1967, and the other in August 2011.
Colorado Earthquake Map through 2008, courtesy of the Colorado Geological Survey

Being able to act at a moment’s notice is essential in case of an earthquake. Earthquakes aren’t something you can forecast, so they catch many people off-guard when they strike. It’s a good idea to be prepared – not just for the rare case of an earthquake in Colorado, but also in case one strikes when you are traveling in a more earthquake-prone area.
On October 17 at 10:17 a.m., the American Red Cross invites you to prepare for an earthquake by participating in the Great American ShakeOut drill.
Recently, standards have changed for what you should do in case of an earthquake. Popular assumptions surrounding earthquake safety include seeking refuge in a doorway, running outside, or the so-called “triangle of life” which refers to estimates about the direction in which debris collapses. These assumptions are false, and earthquake safety is much more simple.
In case of an earthquake, the safest thing to do is drop, cover, and hold on. DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you), take COVER under a sturdy desk or table, and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. These steps are simple, and practicing could save your life, whether you’re in Colorado for the next unexpected quake, or you’re in California for “the big one”.
If you’d like to participate in Thursday’s drill, visit http://shakeout.org/rockymountain/register/ and register yourself or your business.
Just as you committed “stop, drop and roll” to memory as a child, commit “drop, cover and hold on” as well to better prepare yourself and your family.

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