Ok, flashback to 1 year ago today's Eastcoast Earthquake - - - did you leave your building?
Last year during the Eastcoast Earthquake, August 23, 2011 (one of the largest to occur in this region in the last century), what did I, and my 12 or so other GovLoop and GovDelivery co-workers do? We filed outside our building onto 15th street. By quick glance, it was pretty much what everyone else in Washington DC did that day.
We're on the Eastcoast. And hence pretty much all the preparedness training we've had for emergencies is for a firedrill. What do you do in a firedrill? Calmly file outside (via the stairs). What do you do in an earthquake? NOT FILE OUTSIDE VIA THE STAIRS.
The majority of people during earthquakes get injured from falling concrete, glass, etc. Stay where you are.
What did this tell us about our earthquake preparedness? A majority of people on the east coast have really no clear idea about what to do in an earthquake.
This is why I'm here today.
Probably the best thing you can do now to prevent this lack of education going forward is to join The National Preparedness Coalition Online Community. This community is all about sharing and collaborating about natural and man-made disaster preparedness education.
So, since you're probably still wondering - - what are you supposed to do in an earthquake? 1. Drop 2. Take cover (under a desk or study piece of furniture) 3. Hold on till the shaking stops.
I learned all this, and a lot more at a press conference this morning that was held on the grassy lawn in front of the Washington Monument. The goal of the press conference was to share info about:
- Rebuilding and recovery efforts of destruction that happened to major landmarks in Washington DC
- Current earthquake threats in the Southeast region
- Upcoming National Capital Region “ShakeOut” earthquake drill
- Earthquake preparedness steps
- National Preparedness Month - which starts September 1!
When I arrived at the press conference, there were some fantastic posters that outlined data about the Eastcoast Earthquake:
Then several speakers such as Marcia McNutt, Director of USGS and Tim Manning, Deputy Administrator from FEMA, went on talk about why this earthquake was so dangerous in the DC region, what the earthquake told us, and why it is so critical we prepare our community for unexpected disasters like this. The best thing we can all take away from this is to participate in the upcoming (and largest) earthquake drill in history. So, please join us on October 18, 10:18am. You can register at http://www.shakeout.org/southeast/. There are currently over 10 million expected to participate.