ShakeOut History and Purpose
With nearly 4 million people living and working in Oregon, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented devastation. What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what out lives will be like afterward. With earthquakes an inevitable part of Oregon’s future, we must act quickly to ensure that disasters do no become catastrophes.
The Great ShakeOut was created in Southern California in November 2008 and involved nearly 5.5 million Californians through a broad-based out reach program, media partnerships, and public advocacy by hundreds of partners. In early 2009 the decision was made to hold the drill statewide annually on the third Thursday of October. Oregon will be joining them in October of 2011.
A key aspect of the ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes). ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.
Not just any drill will accomplish this. It needs to be big. It must inspire communities to come together. It must involve children at school and parents at work, prompting conversations at home. It must allow every organization, city, etc., to make it their own event. That’s why we are starting with just one County – it is a learning experience for us too.
To participate, go to www.Shakeout.org/Oregon and pledge your family, school, business, government agency or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness. All organizers ask is that participants registers (so they can be counted and receive communications), and at the minimum practice “drop, cover, and hold on” at the specified time. It is only a commitment of a few minutes for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.
Take one minute to practice something that might save your life.