By Doug Bardwell – American Red Cross Volunteer
Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 10:18 a.m. During the self‐led drill, participants practice earthquake preparedness by learning to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if it’s nearby. If you have mobility issues, either lock the wheels of your wheelchair or stay seated, and bend over.
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall, away from windows.
- HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If you are under a table or desk for shelter, hold onto it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
Earthquakes in Ohio – really? YES – REALLY
“People may say ‘Why do we need to practice earthquake drills in Ohio?’ We practice because Ohio does experience earthquakes,” said Sima Merick, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency . “Ohio has had four low-scale earthquakes so far this year. It is also good to know earthquake safety in the event you’ve traveled to another state or country where quakes can occur with higher magnitude and frequency.”
In January 1986, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake took place in Lake County, impacting most of northeastern Ohio. This was the first Ohio quake that caused injuries and to occur near a U.S. nuclear power plant. The 1986 quake ranks as the third largest in the state.
Ohio is on the periphery of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area in Missouri and adjacent states that was the site of the largest earthquake sequence to occur in U.S. history. Four great quakes were part of a series at New Madrid in 1811 and 1812. These events were felt throughout the eastern part of the country and were strong enough to topple chimneys in Cincinnati. In March of 1937, western Ohio experienced a 5.4-magnitude quake that knocked down or damaged every chimney in Anna (Shelby County). So much damage was caused to the local school that it had to be torn down.
For more information, or to register yourself, your company or your organization, visit the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut website for Ohio. Two million Ohioans have already registered.
Also, check out the Red Cross Earthquake App where you can monitor relatives out of town and get the latest alerts. Available for Android and iOS phones. In the app’s toolkit, you can notify relatives that you are safe, and locate open Red Cross shelters.