Naval Support Activity (NSA) Washington took part in the first "Great Southeast Shakeout" earthquake drill, in which participants simultaneously practiced the recommended actions during an earthquake, Oct. 18.
The Great Southeast Shakeout earthquake drill comes on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Va., Aug. 23, 2011, and was felt across more than a dozen U.S. states and in several Canadian provinces.
The "Great Southeast Shakeout" provides an opportunity for people to practice how to stay safe during and after a seismic event," said Robert Avery, emergency manager for NSA Washington. "Employees were encouraged to 'drop, cover and hold on' for at least 60 seconds as if there were a major earthquake happening."
According to ShakeOut.org, more than 190,000 people and organizations have registered to take part in the historic drill. It also marks the first time a shakeout was formally conducted in the Washington, D.C. metro area and included participation from residents and employees.
NSA Washington was the only military installation in the national capital region that participated in the drill.
"There is a misconception that earthquakes don't happen outside of the West Coast where as a few areas of the Midwestern and Eastern U.S. are more prone to earthquakes than others," said Avery. "The key is always preparedness. Earthquake are unpredictable but training and drills help reduce the potential injuries that can result from them."
According to Avery, it is always important to have an earthquake readiness plan. A few tips he recommended were having a place in each room of the house that one can get to in case of an earthquake, keeping a supply of canned food, an up-to-date first aid kit, three gallons of water per person, dust masks and goggles, and a working battery-operated radio and flashlights.
For more information about earthquake preparedness or other emergency planning, visit www.ready.gov or www.fema.gov.