Do you remember where you were on August 23, 2011, when a 5.8 magnitude earthquake— centered in Mineral and felt very strongly in Short Pump — shook parts of the east coast? Do you recall how you responded, and do you know now if you acted safely?
This seismic event took our region by surprise and was a stark reminder that so many areas within this nation are vulnerable to these no-notice events. It was an equally powerful reminder that all of us must be prepared to respond during an earthquake as well as be ready for other potential hazards.
Henrico County joined more than 10 million individuals and localities participating in the “2012 Great ShakeOut” Thursday at 10:18am. This earthquake drill, which was conducted in as little as 90 seconds, was billed by emergency preparedness officials as a way to practice how to stay safe during and after a seismic event.
The drill marked the first time a “ShakeOut” preparedness event was formally conducted in the southeast and included participation by those in Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC.
Officials offer the following tips to follow during and after an earthquake:
“Drop, Cover and Hold On:”
- If you are in a building, move no more than a few steps.
- Drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and hold on until the shaking stops.
- For earthquake preparedness tips, or general information about preparing yourself and others for any disaster or emergency event, please visit www.Ready.gov (FEMA’s Emergency Preparedness website),www.vaemergency.gov (the Virginia Department of Emergency Management) and www.henricofire.org(Division of Fire). On these sites, you will find the steps for being prepared at anytime and anywhere.
- Be informed: Learn about potential emergencies which may occur in your local community and the ways to respond to each.
- Make a plan: Learn how to create a Family or Personal Emergency Plan in case you and your loved ones are not together during a disaster or become separated during an emergency event.
- Build a kit: Review information about basic emergency kits and how to personalize them with required medications, an emergency medical contact card, first aid supplies, extra food, water, etc. A checklist for items to consider as part of this basic kit is also available.
- Get involved: Whether at work or at home, learn how you can be a part of a volunteer network before, during and after any disaster event.
- Remember, preparedness is a shared responsibility. Do your part and practice how to be safe when the shaking begins.
Locally, residents can sign up for emergency alerts from Henrico County via text and email for free by going to http://www.henricoalert.org.