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10/9 Editorial: Join the SouthEast Shake Out earthquake preparedness day

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Nearly 16.2 million people worldwide will "Drop, Cover, and Hold" at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, Oct.17.

According to the Southern California Earthquake Center, The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, including the one held on October 17, are an "annual opportunity for people in homes, schools, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes, and to improve preparedness."

On that day, there will be 1.5 million participants in the SouthEast ShakeOut, which includes Virginia, as well as West Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

ShakeOut participants, including the New Kent County Government and Schools, will practice the internationally recognized "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protocol to protect themselves during earthquakes:

• DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!).

• Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table.

• HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

ShakeOut recommends that every resident register and do the following before Oct. 17:

• Consider what may happen when an earthquake shakes your area

• Plan what you will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to protect yourself and then recover quickly.

Example: If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

This is your chance to prepare. Take advantage of it and participate.

• Download Audio and Video "Drill Broadcast" recordings that have been created to provide instructions during your drill (Video versions have text captions).

• Talk to other people or organizations about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.

For more information, or to register in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, visit: http://www.shakeout.org/southeast.

In the Oct. 16 issue of the Tidewater Review, reporter Amy Jo Martin will share what to do in a variety of earthquake scenarios.