Great ShakeOut scheduled for Oct. 20

It’s time to practice your “Duck, Cover and Hold On” as part of the annual Great ShakeOut! This annual earthquake preparedness drill began in California in November 2008. It was the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history up until that time, and involved 5.3 million participants. The Great ShakeOut gained great acclaim and is now held across the country and around the world each year on the third Thursday of October. In 2015, approximately 600,000 people in Oregon participated. This year’s Great ShakeOut will take place at 10:20 a.m. on October 20. Register to participate at

Great ShakeOut participants include individuals, families, schools, churches, businesses and other groups who take a few minutes to “drop, cover and hold on” which aims to keep people safe in the event of an earthquake.

DROP — Get on ground since the shaking will make it difficult to walk and keep moving objects from hitting/hurting you.

COVER — Get under cover of a sturdy table or desk and use one arm to cover your head to keep falling materials from hitting/hurting you.

HOLD ON to a table leg to keep the cover object from moving away from you and to steady yourself.

Earthquakes may happen anywhere you live, work or travel, said Althea Rizzo, geologic hazards program coordinator for Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management. “It’s important to practice ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ often so that you can respond quickly when an earthquake occurs.

You may only have seconds to protect yourself before strong shaking knocks you down or something falls on you.”

2 Weeks Ready

This year Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management is launching its “2 Weeks Ready” campaign ( The campaign recommends having enough food, water and other supplies to keep you and your family self-sufficient for two weeks. This lessens the strain on emergency responders who need to focus limited resources on injured and other vulnerable populations immediately following a disaster.

“For many years, we talked about the importance of being prepared for 72 hours,” said Rizzo.

“This is a good start, and helpful in the event of short-term power outages or temporary evacuation. But a large earthquake and tsunami will leave much of the area’s transportation routes destroyed. Oregonians will have to count on each other in the community, in the workplace and at home in order to be safe until responders can reach you.”

Being prepared to be self-sufficient for two weeks is an achievable goal. Many of the standard preparedness kit items such as flashlights, gloves, hand-crank radios, trash bags and a first-aid kit are already included in a 72-hour kit. Food and water are priorities.

Plan for one gallon of water per person/pet per day. If you are a family of three, four or more members, that’s a lot of water! You need to think about how to store it, where to put it, and making sure it’s accessible when you need it. Consider large (5-gallon or more) containers, supplemented with smaller containers and what you have stored in ice cube trays and your water heater. Collapsible water containers and water purifiers are also an option; there are many varieties on the market.

Food is the other significant component when increasing your preparedness kit from 72 hours to two weeks. You might not be eating three meals each day but even at two meals per day, a family of four will need to have food to cover more than 100 meals over two weeks. Your refrigerator contains many items that can sustain you and your family for several days. Then supplement or turn to items in your kit such as grains, beans, canned tuna and bulk nuts to provide protein and calories. Be sure to consider dried fruit, canned fruits and vegetables, and other items that are easily stored over long periods of time.

A weekly calendar of ways to become 2 Weeks Ready will be updated regularly at

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