Press-Republican

October 16, 2013

Red Cross: Sign up for earthquake drill


Press-Republican

---- — ALBANY — The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill takes place at 10:17 a.m. Thursday, and the American Red Cross hopes everyone in the North Country will register and participate.

The purpose of the event is for people to learn and practice what to do if a temblor happens. 

Millions across the United States and around the world will be taking part, a Red Cross press release said.

“Earthquakes are unpredictable,” Northeastern New York Regional CEO Gary Striar said. “They can occur at any time on any day.”

People are encouraged to register at ShakeOut.org, and then practice alone or with others wherever they happen to be at 10:17 a.m. this Thursday.

Here are some safety tips provided by the Red Cross:

If you’re inside when the shaking starts:

▶ Drop to the ground, take cover and hold on, moving as little as possible. Try to protect your head and torso. If you’re at a desk or table, get under it and hold on to it until the shaking stops. Otherwise, drop wherever you are.

▶ If you’re in bed, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.

▶ Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to leave.

▶ Use stairs to leave the building, not an elevator.

▶ Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems often go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.

If you’re outside when the shaking starts:

▶ Move as little as possible. Find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights and drop to the ground until the shaking stops.

▶ If you’re in a vehicle, pull over to a clear area and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if you can. Stay inside with the seat belt fastened until the quake is over.

▶ If a power line falls on your car, do not get out. Wait for help.

▶ If you’re in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides can often be triggered by earthquakes.

EARTHQUAKE APP

The Red Cross offers a free Earthquake App for iPhone and Android mobile devices that gives quick access to local and real-time information to help prepare for and stay safe during earthquakes.

Features include:

▶ Simple steps and checklists to create a family emergency plan. 

▶ Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

▶ One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send reassurance to loved ones via social-media outlets.

▶ A toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm.

▶ Locations of open Red Cross shelters.

Find the app at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or at redcross.org/mobileapps. 

Additional earthquake safety information is available at redcross.org/earthquake.