ShakeOut on Oct. 19

Montanans to “Drop, Cover, and Hold on”

Fourth annual earthquake drill to teach preparedness actions

HELENA, MT--On Oct. 19th at 10:19am, more than 1 out of 10 Montanans will simultaneously get under tables, desks, and random pieces of furniture.  These actions are part of the Great Montana ShakeOut, a statewide earthquake drill.  Each October, millions of people around the world participate in these ShakeOut drills as a way to prepare for earthquakes.  In Montana, more than 100,000 people will participate in the drill.

“Because earthquakes can happen at any time in Montana, it’s important for all of us to know what to do at school, home and work,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “Practicing emergency drills, such as the ShakeOut, is a great way to prepare for unexpected events.”

Taking part in the ShakeOut drill is easy and can be completed in 5 minutes at any location. The primary purpose of the drill is to encourage Montanans to practice these three steps before the ground starts to shake:

  • Drop to the ground
  • Take Cover under a table or desk and protect your head and neck
  • Hold on to the shelter for 30-60 seconds

In addition to participating in drills, some simple ways to prepare for earthquakes include:

  1. Check your home and office space for items that might fall during an earthquake (bookshelves, cabinets, appliances) and secure them to the wall.
  2. Create a communication plan with your friends and family.
  3. Keep an emergency supply kit in your home, car, and workplace.
  4. Encourage neighbors and friends to prepare.

Montana is located within the Intermountain Seismic Belt, an active earthquake region stretching along the Rocky Mountains.  While the Treasure State experiences fewer major quakes than our Western neighbors, there have been several large earthquakes in our history, including the magnitude 7.3 earthquake near Hebgen Lake in 1959.

To learn more about earthquake safety and to register for the ShakeOut drill, visit:  Registration takes 5 minutes and participating on Oct. 19 ensures that your loved ones and your community are ready when disaster strikes.

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