At 10:17 am on Thursday, Oct. 17, nearly 81,000 school children in thousands of classrooms across Arizona, will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” during the Great Arizona Shakeout earthquake preparedness drill.  They will be joined by thousands more in universities, state and federal offices, tribal communities, civic groups, and businesses.

Each year hundreds of earthquakes occur in Arizona.  Most go unfelt, but the potential for rare, life-threatening, large magnitude earthquakes exists.  Faults in Arizona, surrounding states and Mexico are capable of damaging earthquakes up to magnitude 7.5 that could cause strong ground shaking across the state.

During an earthquake the greatest immediate danger in most homes and buildings is from flying or falling items - ceiling tiles, furniture, pictures, lights, mirrors, ceiling fans, and other items. Lessons learned from the 2-minute ShakeOut “Drop, Cover and Hold On” exercise can protect you, your family or students from serious injury.  

ShakeOut drills inform people at school, work and home how to prepare for and survive the next damaging earthquake.

• Drop to the ground;

•  Take Cover under a sturdy table or desk if possible and protect your head and neck;

• Hold On until the shaking stops.

“Kids in school, families in home and employees in their workplaces throughout Arizona share a common goal to be prepared,” said Wendy Smith-Reeve, director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.  “I hope everyone takes part in this two-minute drill to practice  ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On.’”

 Participating in ShakeOut is free and open to the public. You, your family, or school can take part in the Great Arizona Shakeout by enrolling online at - select Register Here!  Once registered, you will receive information on how to plan your drill and how to engage your community.

Arizona joins California, Nevada, Oregon, and 24 other U.S. States in hosting ShakeOut events on Oct. 17, 2013.  Worldwide more than 17 million people will engage in ShakeOut, most of those in the U.S. 

For additional information on preparing for, surviving, and recovering from an earthquake, see “Arizona is Earthquake Country”, a 44-page online publication that includes a detailed seven-step earthquake safety guide.  Or visit the new, interactive Natural Hazards in Arizona viewer to assess your earthquake risk using the “Find Local Hazards” search.

Partners in the Great Arizona Shakeout 2012 include the Arizona Geological Survey, Arizona Division of Emergency Management, Arizona County Emergency Manager’s Offices, Arizona Emergency Information Network, Arizona Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Enroll today in Arizona ShakeOut for a safer Arizona tomorrow.  Information is available for the public and media at

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