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Annual Great American Shakeout a Great Reminder to Prepare for Earthquakes!

Great American ShakeOut Drills are scheduled across the country in earthquake-vulnerable areas throughout the entire month of October. With 23.2 million people in America scheduled to participate, the events encourage people to be well prepared so they know what to do if they ever experience an earthquake. If you’re ever in an earthquake, remember to drop, cover and hold on. Doing so could save your life!

“Earthquakes are unpredictable. They can occur at any time on any day. (We) encourage people to be ready and know how to stay safe if a quake occurs,” said Chris Harmon, Regional Disaster Program Officer for the Southern Missouri Region of the American Red Cross.

Organized by the American Red Cross, the official Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill will be held on Thursday, October 17 at 10:17a.m. If you and/or your organization would like to take part, register at Whether you participate in one of the Shakeout earthquake drills or not, if you live or travel to an earthquake-prone region, it’s important to familiarize yourself with what to do before, during and after an earthquake:

If you are inside when the shaking starts

  • Drop to the ground, take cover and hold on.
  • Move as little as possible.
  • Try to protect your head and torso.
  • If you are sitting at a desk or table, seek refuge under it and hold on until the shaking stops. Otherwise, drop wherever you are.
  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to exit.
  • Use stairs rather than an elevator to exit the building.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.

If you are outside when the shaking starts

  • Move as little as possible.
  • Find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights and drop to the ground until the shaking stops.
  • If in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop.
  • Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible.
  • Stay inside with the seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
  • If a power line falls on the vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • If in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.

How to protect yourself if you are disabled

The Red Cross has prepared a detailed booklet to help you take special precautions to protect yourself during an earthquake. Click here for that free resource. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services takes people with disabilities into consideration by providing lots of helpful resources available to subscribers.

Download the American Red Cross Earthquake App
The free American Red Cross Earthquake App for iPhone and Android and provides instant access to local and real-time information, which is crucial for emergency decision-making. View the app in English or Spanish based on user settings.

Features of the app include:

  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters.

The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android. Whether you opt to register for a ShakeOut event in your region or take steps to prepare your tenants, family or employees, take steps to make sure you are prepared to survive and recover quickly from the next big earthquake!

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. The Allied Universal Training System by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services is a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES.

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