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9/15/2013 11:22:00 AM
Oregon’s Great ShakeOut Encourages Schools to Participate

Students have been participating in fire drills for years. When the alarm sounds kids know what to do, but what about an earthquake? Learning how to respond when the ground starts shaking is just as important.

“Your survival depends in part on how you prepare,” said Althea Rizzo, Geologic Hazards Coordinator for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

On Oct. 17, at 10:17 a.m. millions across the United States will “Drop, Cover, and Hold” for the Great ShakeOut, a worldwide earthquake drill designed to teach people how to prepare for an earthquake. Organizers are asking individuals, businesses, and particularly schools to participate this year.

“The ShakeOut allows students and staff to practice what to do in an earthquake, so when the big one strikes they know how to respond,” said Rizzo.

Part of the appeal of the ShakeOut is its simplicity. Participants practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold,” the recommended procedures for self-protection during an earthquake. Many schools and other organizations also practice additional aspects of their preparedness plans.

The ShakeOut began in Southern California in 2008 as a way to involve the public in a large-scale emergency management exercises and has now grown to become the largest public preparedness exercise in the United States. More than 14.5 million people in the U.S. including 160,000 Oregon residents participated in the ShakeOut in 2012.

“We would like to have even more participants this year,” said Kim Lippert, Public Information Officer for the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. “One of our areas of outreach is schools, protecting our students in the event of an earthquake is extremely important.”

You can register your school on the website at www.shakeout.org/oregon. There is a special section on the website for K-12 schools that gives instructions for how schools can participate in the ShakeOut. You will learn how to plan your drill. Additional information on preparedness is also available on the website.

For more information on the Great ShakeOu,t contact Kim Lippert, Public Information Officer, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, 503-580-6874 or kim.lippert@state.or.us eMail or go on the website at www.shakeout.org.
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