Over 35M worldwide to participate in Great Shakeout earthquake drills

Redwood City encourages participation in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

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Over 30 million people worldwide have signed up to participate in the 2021 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill at 10:21 a.m. Thursday, including 41,935 participants in San Mateo County, of which 34,628 are students and staff in K-12 schools, according to the Great ShakeOut website.

Employees of Redwood City government offices also plan to participate, the city said.

The annual event aims to educate the public on earthquake preparedness and encourages them to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill. The one-minute drill can be practiced at any time, but it is especially practiced on International ShakeOut Day, held the third Thursday of October. “This annual date was selected back in 2009, when most schools agreed this was the best time,” according to Great ShakeOut, which is coordinated nationally by Earthquake Country Alliance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of other partners.

“Whether earthquake, wildfire or pandemic, we know that disaster can strike at any time,” Melissa Stevenson Diaz, city manager of Redwood City, said in a statement. “Redwood City invites our employees, businesses and residents to participate in the Great ShakeOut. Practicing earthquake safety serves as a readiness reminder for all.”

The city provides a comprehensive site detailing how to prepare for, endure and recover from an earthquake, and how to stay connected to important information during emergencies.

The basic drill calls for people to drop where they are onto their hands and knees, which protects them from being knocked down and allows them to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby; cover their heads and neck with one arm and hand, and, if possible, to crawl underneath a sturdy table or next to an interior wall (away from windows) while staying on their knees, bent over to protect vital organs; and to hold on to the shelter or your head and neck with both arms and hands until the shaking stops.

Photo credit: Great ShakeOut