Drop, Cover, And Hold On: The Great Oregon ShakeOut

Oct 17, 2018

Credit Great Oregon ShakeOut

If the Cascadia earthquake happened right now, would you know what to do? That’s the question emergency preparedness planners want you to ask yourself in advance of Thursday's Great Oregon ShakeOut.

The event is part of a worldwide effort to get people thinking about what to do during an earthquake. Althea Rizzo is a Geologic Hazards Program Coordinator with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. She says we’ve had 41 large temblors in the last 10-thousand years, and adds “there’s no way to predict when we’re going to have the next one, we just know that eventually mother nature is going to shake us up and we will need to take some steps to get prepared for that.”

The best thing you can do if you feel the earth start to tremble is to drop on to your hands and knees, preferably under a sturdy table or desk, cover your head and neck with one arm and hand, and hold on until the shaking stops.

Students at Lane Community College take part in the 2016 Great Oregon ShakeOut earthquake drill by taking cover under a table.
Credit Lane Community College

Rizzo says “the big one” known as Cascadia, is hard to predict, but everyone should be prepared. She tells KLCC, “When the ground starts shaking, that’s not the time to pull out your emergency plan and make sure that you’ve got everything set up, so the Great Oregon ShakeOut is the perfect time for all Oregonians to be talking and thinking and preparing for Cascadia.”

Wherever you are on Thursday morning at 10:18am, you should imagine a temblor, drop, cover, and hold on. More than 500-thousand Oregonians, including 300-thousand Oregon students have registered to take part.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is encouraging participants and has declared Thursday, October 18th as "Great Oregon ShakeOut Day." You can register at The Great Oregon ShakeOut.