UW News

September 14, 2016

The Great UW ShakeOut: An opportunity to practice earthquake preparedness

All across the world, millions of people will be practicing their earthquake preparedness on Oct. 20. The event — called the Great ShakeOut — will commence at 10:20 a.m. for those participating at the University of Washington and across the state. It is an opportunity for people to practice what they should do in the event of an earthquake: Drop, cover and hold on.

UW Emergency Management, through its Seismic Resilience Program, is dubbing the event here as the “Great UW ShakeOut.”

Participants are encouraged to register prior to the event.

Ways to participate:

The simplest way to participate is to practice “drop, cover and hold on” at 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 20. This can be done by using the building’s public address (PA) system to alert occupants of the preceding drill (contact your building coordinator for details). If you don’t have access to your PA system, or some departments in your building are not participating, choose a team member to use whistles or a blow horn to alert department members that “This is an earthquake drill! Drop, cover and hold on!”

In addition to practicing the above activity, some departments may also add a building evacuation drill to their earthquake drill. But be mindful that your earthquake evacuation location is not always the same location as your fire evacuation location. Furthermore, evacuation after an earthquake is not always necessary.

Some departments will take this time to also review any and all emergency plans as a team. UW Emergency Management can help tailor almost any training to a department’s specific needs.

For more information, contact UW Emergency Management at (206) 897-8000 or disaster@uw.edu.