On Thursday morning, people around the world will be falling, covering and holding on – even if the ground doesn’t shake.
Thursday is International ShakeOut Day, a worldwide, minute-long earthquake exercise Oregonians participate in each year through the Great Oregon ShakeOut. About 500,000 Oregonians are registered for the event, along with another 43.7 million worldwide.
Oregonians live under the constant threat of earthquakes. The Cascadia subduction zone is located near the coast, and small earthquakes are common across the state, with the most recent one occurring just earlier this month.
On Oct. 7, a magnitude 4.4 earthquake shook Linn County, which was felt by people in Portland, Bend and Salem.
“The earthquake in Linn County shook some people and was a wake-up call that we live in earthquake country,” Oregon Emergency Management Director Andrew Phelps said in a news release. “Knowing what to do when the ground shakes helps people reduce their risk and better protect themselves in preparation for an earthquake.”
Oregon averages about 70 earthquakes per year; According to the news release, 15 of them are big enough to be felt.
More:More than half a dozen earthquakes have been reported near the Oregon coast
The Cascadia subduction zone, located 600 miles offshore, puts the state at risk for a magnitude 9.0+ earthquake. A Cascadia earthquake can produce up to four minutes of shaking followed by a tsunami of up to 100 feet.
“The Cascadia earthquake will devastate the entire Pacific Northwest region, affecting critical infrastructure such as energy services, drinking water and sanitation, transportation routes and life-saving medical facilities for weeks to months or longer,” Phelps said. “We encourage every Oregonian to register for the Great Oregon ShakeOut as an important step toward keeping themselves safe in the event of a Cascadia earthquake.”
How to register for the Great Oregon ShakeOut
Anyone can participate in the Great Oregon ShakeOut simply by attending a workout during the event.
Those who wish to be among this year’s participants can visit shakeout.org/register/. Oregonians must first select “United States” from the menu, then select “Oregon ShakeOut” and provide an email address.
related to:“Big Oregon ShakeOut Day” Calls for Earthquake Preparedness; 500,000 Oregonians participate
What to do during exercise
The exercise asks participants to do three things in one minute at 10:20 a.m.:
1: Get down on your hands and knees where you are.
This position protects you from falling and reduces the chance of being hit by falling or flying objects.
2: Cover your head and neck with one hand.
- If there is a sturdy desk or table nearby, move under it for shelter.
- If there is no shelter nearby, crawl along the inner wall.
- Standing on the knees; bend over and protect vital organs.
3: Hold until the vibration stops.
- Under the shelter: hold it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it changes
- Without shelter: support your head and neck with both hands and arms.
“Everyone in Oregon should practice ‘drop, cover and hold’ until it becomes a familiar routine. It’s an effective and cost-effective addition to your preparedness plan,” Phelps said.
Those with mobility impairments may need modifications to the traditional drop, cover, and hold approach, but the basics remain the same: protect yourself as much as possible, protect the head and chest until the shaking stops.
Additional simple and effective free and low-cost earthquake preparedness measures include securing their space by identifying hazards and securing movable objects, registering for local emergency alerts, and enabling Wireless emergency alert on mobile phones. Oregonians who receive wireless emergency alerts also receive ShakeAlert warnings of earthquakes in their area with a magnitude of 4.5 or greater provide critical seconds to seek cover and resistance.
There are two applications managed by ShakeAlert: QuakeAlertUSA and MyShake.
Those with the MyShake app will receive a test alert at 10:20 a.m. Thursday for the Great Oregon ShakeOut.
Learn more about the Great Oregon ShakeOut at Shakeout.org/Oregon.
Contact reporter Adam DuVernay [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @DuvernayOR.