When earthquakes begin to rumble beneath Idaho, Gem State citizens should know what to do.
That’s why, at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Idaho residents are encouraged to participate in a 60-second drill as part of the Great Idaho ShakeOut — “Drop, Cover and Hold On.”
The ShakeOut tests the emergency preparedness of individuals, families, schools, businesses and other establishments while helping people learn what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
According to www.earthquakecountry.org, “Drop, Cover and Hold On” is the most effective reaction to earthquakes that will reduce the risk of injury. It suggests the following when an earthquake occurs:
“DROP down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquakes knocks you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary. COVER your head and neck with both arms, clasping your neck with your hands. If a study desk or table is nearby, crawl beneath it while keeping one arm over your head. If there is no shelter nearby, only then should you get down near an interior wall, or next to low-lying furniture that won't fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. HOLD ON to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.”
More than 2,300 Kootenai County participants are registered for the Great Idaho ShakeOut, including North Idaho College, John Brown Elementary School in Rathdrum, LAM Christian Academy, Lake City Junior Academy, the Coeur d’Alene Fire Department and Kohl’s Department Store.
The ShakeOut will also serve as an opportunity for first responders and officials to test various emergency alert/notification systems such as NIXLE, HipLink and Emergency Alert Systems. Citizens are urged to connect with their emergency responders' social media sources such as Facebook and Twitter.
"While the potential earthquake hazard depends upon your location, you could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes — at home, at work, at school or even on vacation," Kootenai County Sheriff’s Lt. Stu Miller said in a press release. "What we do now and how soon we are notified of an emergency will determine our quality of life after a large-scale event such as an earthquake."
North Idaho's Lewis and Clark Seismic Zone, which stretches about 240 miles through North Idaho and northwestern Montana, is considered to be a "megashear" as much as 30 miles wide in the earth's crust. This area's faults have been active for a billion years.
More than 110,000 participants are registered for the Great ShakeOut throughout Idaho, as well as more than 41.4 million participants worldwide.
To register for participation in the Great Idaho ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org/idaho. To register with NIXLE (within the City of Coeur d'Alene), visit https://www.cdaid.org/files/fire/nixle_flyer.pdf. To register for HipLink within Kootenai County, visit https://kootenai.hiplink.com/kCWebSignup/wsudesc.html.