Great ShakeOut asks Ducks to drop, cover and hold on

Seismograph readout

It's now common knowledge: The Pacific Northwest sits above the Cascadia subduction zone and is at risk for a catastrophic earthquake and coastal tsunami, as well as periodic, less-severe quakes.

When these disasters will hit is unknown, but some believe the time for "the big one" is overdue. That's why preparedness is so important. Science and technology, like the early warning ShakeAlert project UO is a part of, can only buy so much time.

The Great ShakeOut, a nationwide earthquake preparedness drill, will let the UO community practice three simple actions that can save lives when the ground starts moving: “drop, cover, and hold on!” The drill takes place Thursday, Oct. 19, at 10:19 a.m.

The UO's Department of Earth Sciences and Safety and Risk Services will team for a series of awareness activities to better prepare Ducks:

  • At 10:19 a.m. a UO Alert message to campus will signal a "drop, cover, hold on!" drill to get people practicing and thinking about their surroundings — and the sturdy tables or other resources they might use to protect themselves from falling debris and stay secure until shaking stops.
  • Local agencies and vendors will be in the Erb Memorial Union amphitheater from 10:30 a.m. to noon to share tips and tools — like solar panels, disaster-ready meals and planning kits — livened up with prizes and games.
  • The "Big One," a presentation on earthquake hazards in the state and the UO’s role in developing an early-warning system, will be offered by UO Earth sciences faculty from noon-1 p.m. in Room 023 in the EMU.
  • Free first aid and CPR refresher training by physical education and recreation staff in McArthur Court from 1-2 p.m.

For more tips and training on emergency preparation and response for individuals and UO departments, visit Emergency Management and Continuity on the Safety and Risk Services website.