Earthquake readiness drills are rising in popularity in the face of fears over increasing tectonic activity.
Earthquakes can be a scary event. In July this year, an earthquake shook the foundation of the Crescent, OK public school superintendent, Mickey Hart’s office and left him wondering how he would respond if such an event were to affect his schools. According to a report from Reuters, the school district, which teaches 650 students in a small town north of Oklahoma City, has no plan in place to respond to an earthquake.
The quake in July left a number of buildings in the district damaged, with ceiling tiles smashed on the floor and cracks running up walls. Hart is preparing for the next quake by conducting the county’s first earthquake drills, and many other districts are following suit.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, in cooperation with a number of other government agencies are organizing the “Great ShakeOut” earthquake readiness exercise, consisting of a series of events across the country intended to educate people on survival tactics during an earthquake.
So far, about 3 million people have signed up to participate in the drills, in states including Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. This is up from a number of 2.76 a year ago, and nearly 19 million people have signed up in states across the country.
The main advice for what to do in an earthquake? According to FEMA, you should ‘drop, cover, and hold on.’ Earthquakes can compromise the structural integrity of buildings and cause heavy objects to fall. Taking cover is the safest bet, but buildings should be checked frequently for their ability to withstand an earthquake.