INTERNATIONAL SHAKEOUT DAY
On the third Thursday in October, International Shakeout Day educates the public about ways to stay safe during an earthquake. The day also encourages individuals and organizations to update their emergency plans and supplies.
Each year, the National Earthquake Information Center locates 20,000 earthquakes around the world. This number equates to about 55 earthquakes a day. Some people think more earthquakes happen each year. This is not the case, however. The reality is there are more seismic instruments that are capable of detecting earthquakes. Since 1900, there have been about 16 major earthquakes each year.
Scientists use the earthquake magnitude scale to measure earthquakes. A magnitude of 2.5 or less usually can’t be felt; however, earthquakes of a 7 magnitude are considered major earthquakes. A couple of earthquakes each year have been 8.0 or greater. These earthquakes cause massive damage and can destroy entire communities.
Earthquakes occur along fractures in the Earth’s crust. These fractures are called faults. When there are sudden movements or releases of energy along these faults, an earthquake occurs. North America, South America, and Asia have several major earthquake zones. Over several years, these countries have made strides in improving the structural integrity of their homes and buildings. Earthquake-proof buildings contain flexible foundations and shock absorbers. These buildings are also able to protect themselves against vibrations and are reinforced to withstand collapse.
To stay safe during an earthquake, it’s important to get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture, stay indoors until the shaking stops, and stay away from windows. Those who are outside during an earthquake should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, and powerlines and drop to the ground.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalShakeOutDay
On this day, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are held in several regions throughout the world. It’s also a day for schools, businesses, and families to develope an emergency disaster plan. To participate:
- Find out if the area in which you live contains any faults that are prone to earthquakes.
- Watch earthquake safety videos.
- Learn more about earthquakes.
- Watch the documentary The Deadliest Earthquakes.
Share this day on social media with #InternationalShakeOutDay
INTERNATIONAL SHAKEOUT DAY HISTORY
The first Great ShakeOut event occurred in Southern California in 2008. The ShakeOut encouraged schools, businesses, and individuals to hold earthquake drills at least one minute long. In 2009, the ShakeOut organization established International Shakeout Day. They chose the third Thursday in October as most schools were in session on this day.
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