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Drop, Cover and Hold on! 3 Phrases to Know for The Great Shakeout

Get ready to rumble mustangs! Yes, quite literally - rumble - because the Great ShakeOut is happening Thursday, Oct. 21.

The Great ShakeOut is a worldwide exercise that started in 2009 to promote earthquake safety and awareness. For one minute, participants will pretend as though they are in a real earthquake to practice safety procedures; participants should familiarize themselves with evacuation procedures and practice the Drop, Cover and Hold On method.

The campus Evacuation Plan can be found on the Department of Emergency Management’s (DEM) website here and it maintains an interactive Evacuation map with Evacuation Points here. To Drop, Cover, and Hold On, participants should get on their hands and knees, cover the back of their head and neck area with their hands or with shelter, and then hold on to something whether that be to the stable shelter or just to your head and neck.

You can also download the MyShake app to your mobile devices, which can potentially alert you to earthquakes before you feel them, thereby giving you the time to respond accordingly. And yes, MyShake will be participating in the Great ShakeOut as well!

Anyone anywhere can participate in this drill; hence, Cal Poly is participating! DEM will be using this opportunity to bring awareness, and exercise and practice earthquake response. Safety and caution are very important to the university as earthquakes are always a possibility, especially in California.

It’s not just earthquakes that DEM provides awareness for. The department is also very well equipped with resources for any and every other type of emergency. You can visit their website here to educate yourself on the different types of hazards, know what to do in case of an emergency, find easy-to-use plans, and instructions on how to make a kit for these different situations.

Making a kit, creating a plan, and informing yourself is very important when it comes to emergency situations. Although emergency responders will be working hard to provide help, it’s always best to have a kit and a plan prepared ahead of time. Some basic items to put in your kit include nonperishable food, a first aid kit and a flashlight. More recommended items can be found here. Though a kit is a great first start, it is important to make other plans such as proposed escape routes, meeting points and planning how you will communicate with family members or friends. DEM provides some great ideas on how to plan ahead of time on their website linked here.

Unfortunately, emergencies and mishaps do happen and the best way to handle them is to be prepared. The Great ShakeOut is a good way to make sure that you are prepared, aware and ready to go in the case of an earthquake.