Get ready for the Great Oregon ShakeOut

by Tom Mayhall Rastrelli,

Learn about earthquake preparedness at 10:19 a.m. on 10/19.

“Drop, cover and hold on!” That's what you need to do if an earthquake strikes in order to reduce your chance of being harmed. That’s also the main message of the Great Oregon Shakeout.

This week, Oregon and the Willamette community will participate in an earthquake awareness and preparedness drill with millions of people around the world.

At 10:19 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, the university’s Emergency Notification System will activate with a test message announcing the drill.

“This is only a drill and you don’t need to leave your desk or classroom,” says Ross Stout ’85 MM’93, director of campus safety. “But we hope you’ll make use of the ShakeOut’s resources and learn the basics of earthquake preparedness.”

Those basics include three instructions to follow if an earthquake strikes.

  1. Drop to the ground.
  2. Take cover under something sturdy like a desk or table.
  3. Hold on until everything stops shaking.

According to the Oregon ShakeOut’s web instructions, if you’re indoors, you should remain there until the shaking ends. If outdoors, find a clear space away from trees, buildings, power lines and streetlights, before dropping, covering and holding on there. If driving, pull over to a clear location, park and remain there with your seatbelt fastened. After the earthquake, proceed with caution and avoid buildings, bridges and ramps that may be damaged.

The ShakeOut’s website includes more detailed instructions and resources such as demonstration videos, emergency-kit instructions, drill manuals, guides for those with disabilities, and tsunami preparedness directions.

There will also be a panel and discussion about on earthquake safety-procedures and preparation at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 19 in Collins 205. The panel will include Professor of Environmental and Earth Sciences Karen Arabas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Earth Sciences Scott Pike, Associate Director of Campus Safety Rich Dennis, and possibly more.

For more information about crisis management and emergency preparation at Willamette, go to Campus Safety’s website.

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