SPRINGFIELD – The World’s Largest Earthquake Drill will take place at 10:21 a.m. on October 21, 2021, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all families, schools, businesses, and other organizations to register to participate in this quick and easy preparedness drill.

ShakeOut is an international event involving millions of participants from more than 40 states and territories and several countries. The goal of this “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill is to improve preparedness and draw attention to the earthquake hazards that exist in Illinois, across the country, and around the world.

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“Fire drills and tornado drills are common practices in schools and at businesses, but not everyone knows what they should do in the event of an earthquake,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau.“We cannot predict when or where the next devastating earthquake will occur, but we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”

More than 17.5 million people around the world have already registered online. To date, more than 192,000 residents in Illinois have pledged to participate in this annual exercise. Local emergency managers throughout the state are hoping to increase that number as we approach the day of the drill.

Disasters – large and small – can strike any time. Taking simple steps today can pay huge dividends when the next emergency arrives. IEMA encourages families to consider creating a Two Weeks Ready preparedness plan. Being Two Weeks Ready means having a plan and enough supplies for you and your household to survive on your own for a full two weeks should a large disaster occur. IEMA has developed various toolkits to help families, communities, seniors, and businesses adopt a Two Weeks Ready plan.

Due to COVID-19, our work and school environments are changing. With people working from home, the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) has developed specialized toolkits for homeschools, individuals, and families to utilize. As always, you can schedule your ShakeOut drill when and where you want it, whether that’s at work, home, school, or through a video conference.

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Why is this important?
Earthquakes can occur at any time, anywhere, and without warning. While we often associate earthquakes with the west coast, quakes can and do occur closer to home. Illinois is positioned between two active seismic zones, the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. An earthquake in any of our neighboring states could be felt by residents in Illinois. This underscores the importance of preparedness. An earthquake can strike when you are at work, at home, at school, or while on vacation. When you are asleep in your bed or at an afternoon ballgame. ShakeOut provides the opportunity to practice what you would do in the event of an earthquake.

Shakeout Participation is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. REGISTER your home, school, business, or organization on the ShakeOut website: www.ShakeOut.org/centralus. Once registered, your point of contact will receive important information about earthquakes and preparedness.

2. MAKE A PLAN. Build an emergency supply kit for your family. Talk to your family members about what you should do in the event of an earthquake. Secure heavy items in your home like bookcases, refrigerators, televisions, and objects that hang on the wall. Evaluate your home for structural issues.

3. PRACTICE “DROP, COVER and HOLD ON” on October 21, 2021, at 10:21 am.
Drop to the ground onto your hands and knees.
Cover your head and neck with one arm to protect yourself from falling objects.
Hold On to a sturdy table or desk until the shaking is done.
These are the recommended actions to protect yourself during an earthquake.

Additional earthquake preparedness and mitigation information is available on the following websites: http://www.ready.illinois.gov and http://www.cusec.org.

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