UO prepares for this year’s Great Oregon Shakeout drill

Shakeout drill

The University of Oregon is participating in the annual Great Oregon ShakeOut event Oct. 21 and is recommending that all students and employees take part in the earthquake safety drill that will occur at 2:21 p.m.

The event is designed to promote earthquake preparedness, an important issue in a region that faces an overdue and potentially massive Cascadia quake and coastal tsunami, as well as periodic, less severe quakes. Earthquakes can happen anytime and almost anywhere, and most injuries during such events are caused from falling or flying objects.

The drill provides an opportunity to practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On” for 60 seconds:

  • Drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you).
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms and seek additional shelter by getting under a sturdy desk or table if one is nearby.
  • Hold on to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

Those are the key steps to remember should there be an earthquake. If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then, if possible, get next to an interior wall of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary. Cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

Do not move to another location or run outside. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you are unable to run or crawl.

The guidelines apply to most situations; additional guidance also is available for some specific settings, like if you are driving, are near the ocean shore, or in a stadium or theater when a quake hits.

The UO will send a notification that the drill is about to start through its UO Alerts mass-notification system Oct. 21, sending an email to all students and employees and text messages to everyone signed up to receive the notices. Any students or employees who have not signed up for UO Alerts are strongly encouraged to do so, as that is how the UO gets information out quickly in emergency situations.

All Oregonians can receive earthquake early warning alerts on their personal cell phones via three different methods: Wireless Emergency Alerts, Android OS Alerts, and "ShakeAlert-powered" apps. Two free apps are available for download: MyShake and QuakeAlertUSA. Both are iOS and Android compatible.

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.