On Wednesday of this week more than a million residents of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia have pledged to take part in the inaugural launch of their The Great Southeast Shakeout.
They join a growing list of other states and regions who conduct this yearly earthquake drill, which instructs people how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On during a quake.
A video, demonstrating the technique is available on the California Shakeout Youtube Channel.
This year, there are 14 Shakeouts scheduled across the United States and around the world, with the bulk of them set for 10:18 a.m. on October 18th.
For details on when the Shakeout Drill is being held in your area - and how you or your organization can participate - click the map below:
If you live in any of these regions, I would encourage you to participate in, and support, these annual disaster drills.
As the map below indicates, much of United States is seismically active – with Alaska, Hawaii, the west coast, and the Midwest seeing the most – and strongest, quakes.
Last year, in Estimating The Economic Impact Of A San Andreas Quake, we looked at a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that endeavored to gauge the crippling impact that a highly feasible (and long overdue) 7.8 magnitude Southern California earthquake would have on jobs and local businesses.
A quake of this magnitude, they estimate, could affect 430,000 businesses and 4.5 million workers and deliver a devastating – and prolonged – blow to the local economy.
While huge death tolls are considered unlikely in this scenario, the untimely demise of thousands of unprepared businesses is all but assured.
One of the most vulnerable areas to earthquakes (and tsunamis) in North America is the Pacific Northwest, where just over 311 years ago an earthquake and tsunami – likely on par with this year’s disastrous quake in Japan - struck the coastline.
You’ll find a greater description of this event, along with videos and simulations showing what a similar event today would produce, in my essay Just A Matter Of Time.
Since we can’t prevent earthquakes, or predict them, the only recourse is to prepare for them . . . as individuals, businesses, and communities.
For a comprehensive guide on how you can prepare for `the big one’ (even if you live someplace other than Los Angeles), I would recommend you download, read, and implement the advice provided by the The L. A. County Emergency Survival Guide.
Everyone should have a disaster plan. Everyone should have a good first aid kit, a `bug-out bag’, and sufficient emergency supplies to last a bare minimum of 72 hours.
For more on disaster preparedness, I would invite you to visit: