On Oct. 15 at 10:15 a.m., North Carolina residents and businesses will have an opportunity to participate in the 2020 Great Southeast Shakeout, an annual public earthquake drill where millions of people across the region – organizations, schools, businesses and homes – can simultaneously practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” which is the recommended action for people to take during an earthquake.
Although it is not a highly likely event in Granville County, the area did experience tremors on Aug. 9. 2020 when the state reported its strongest earthquake in almost 100 years. On that date, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake and several aftershocks resulted in reports of damage to houses and commercial buildings in Alleghany County and surrounding communities. Many Granville County residents reported experiencing tremors from that event.
Granville County Emergency Services encourages all residents, students, business owners, organizations and any other interested parties to be familiar with the proper way to reduce injury during an earthquake or aftershocks. Drills like the Great Southeast Shakeout will help prepare for hazards that exist at home, at work, at school or during travel.
In case of an earthquake, remember to Drop, Cover and Hold On:
DROP where you are on your hands and knees. This position will protect you from being knocked down while allowing you to stay low and crawl to a nearby shelter.
COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy desk or table is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows.) Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.
HOLD ON until the shaking stops. Under shelter, hold onto your shelter with one hand and be ready to move with it if it shifts. If no shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
“Drop, Cover and Hold On” is the recommended action to take during an earthquake because it allows you to get down before you are thrown to the ground, provides protection from falling or flying items and increases the chances of surviving a building collapse. Most injuries or deaths during an earthquake come from falling objects, such as heavy furniture, televisions, lamps or other common items. After the earthquake, it is also important to watch for any items that may fall in an aftershock.
The “ShakeOut” began in southern California in 2008 as a drill designed to educate the public about how to protect themselves during an earthquake. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are now held in more than 20 official ShakeOut regions, along with an option for people in any other areas to register and be counted in the global participation total.
Although Oct. 15 is the official ShakeOut date this year, another date and time – or multiple dates – can be chosen to accommodate as many people and schedules as possible.
To learn more about the Great Southeast ShakeOut, please click here: https://www.shakeout.org/southeast/.