New Kent to participate in earthquake ShakeOut drill

An earthquake hit Virginia on August 23, 2011, which was felt all over the country.

•In a room away from a table or desk: Drop to the ground and crawl into a corner of the room (if possible). It is important that you crawl so that you protect your vital organs, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms. Do not move to another location or outside.

•In bed: Hold on and stay there, while protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are because broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.

•In a high-rise: Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. The sprinkler systems or fire alarms could activate.

•In a store: When the shaking starts, Drop Cover and Hold On. A shopping cart or the inside of a clothing rack could provide some protection. If you must move to get away from heavy items on high shelves, drop to the ground first and crawl the shortest distance necessary.

Whenever you enter any retail store, take a moment to look around and access what is above and around you that could move or fall during an earthquake.

•Outdoors: Move to a clear area if you can safely do so; avoid power lines, trees, signs, buildings, vehicles, and other hazards.

•Driving: Pull over to the side of the road, stop, and set the parking brake. Avoid overpasses, bridges, power lines, signs and other hazards. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking is over. If a power line falls on the car, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

•In a stadium or theater: Stay at your seat or drop to the floor between rows and protect your head and neck with your arms. Don't try to leave until the shaking is over. Then walk out slowly watching for anything that could fall during the aftershocks.

•Near the shore: Drop, Cover, and Hold On until the shaking stops. If severe shaking lasts twenty seconds or more, immediately evacuate to high ground, as the earthquake may have generated a Tsunami. Immediately move inland two miles or to land that is at least 100 feet above sea level. Don't wait for officials to issue a warning. Walk quickly, rather than drive, to avoid traffic, debris and other hazards.

•Below a dam: Dams can fail during a major earthquake. So, if you live downstream from a dam, you should read up on flood zone information and prepare an evacuation plan in advance.

•In a wheelchair: Lock your wheels, and cover your head and neck. The force of the earthquake may knock you off your feet or throw you to the ground. Be careful when trying to get back up because there may be aftershocks.

The Earthquake Country Alliance encourages residents to create a family disaster plan so that if an earthquake hits, they will know what to do.

A family disaster plan is composed of:

•A Personal Support Team (PST) at home, work and every place you spend a lot of time: A PST is made up of at least three people who are within walking distance and can assist you immediately, such as neighbors and co-workers. These team members will need to know how to enter your home or office and check on you in case you are injured or cannot answer the door.

•An Out of Area contact: Identify an Out of Area contact (that lives out of state or 100 miles away) that is your main point of contact. This person should be who friends and family call to report their status. Be sure your PST has the contact information.

•An evacuation plan: Identify a meeting place just outside your home where you can make sure everyone is safe. Identify a second meeting place outside your neighborhood in case you can't return home.

•A care plan for pets: Because only service animals are allowed in shelters, your pets should have a care plan, which identifies your pet, and someone who can watch him.

•A disaster kit for each person, which includes:

—Food

—Water