Westminster, MD, Wednesday, October 18, 2023 – Carroll County Government is proud to join FEMA, the United States Geological Survey, and the National Science Foundation to promote Earthquake Preparedness this October and encourages all residents to learn about earthquake safety and take part in Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills occurring across the world on October 19th.

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is an earthquake and its aftereffects. Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and at any time during the day. They can happen at work, school, or at home. The 2011 Mineral, Virginia earthquake and 2016 Pawnee, Oklahoma earthquakes illustrated the fact that it is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur. So, it is important that everyone is prepared ahead of time.

  • Practicing how to respond to an earthquake can keep you safe! In an earthquake, you may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down or objects fall on you. If you practice often, you’ll be better prepared to respond. 
  • Ground shaking during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified. Most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the earthquake.
  • To prepare for an earthquake, identify safe places to go, such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall so when the shaking starts you can respond quickly. The safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris.
    • Remember that an earthquake can occur at any time, so know your plans for where you’d go when you’re in your home, your office, your car, etc.
  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On:
    • DROP to the ground,
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table or crouching against an interior wall, and
    • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

A key aspect of the Great ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people prepare for emergencies. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). The Great ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to be prepared, practice what to do to be safe, and learn what plans need to be improved.

Tomorrow, on Oct. 19th, you can join many across the world when we drop, cover, and hold on for earthquake preparedness:

  • DROP to the ground,
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

More information can be found at  Shakeout.org. Information on the different types of hazards is available at Ready.gov or the Spanish-language website Listo.gov.