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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Oct 17

Annual “Great ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill Set for Thursday

Posted on October 17, 2017 at 10:14 AM by Communications Department

All citizens, businesses and communities in Virginia are encouraged to participate

10-17 shakeFresh off of National Preparedness Month in September, individuals and communities throughout all 50 U.S. states and territories will prepare for the potential impacts of earthquakes through the ninth annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill October 19.  The Great ShakeOut drill provides schools, businesses and residents with the opportunity to develop an earthquake response plan, practice their response to an earthquake and have a conversation with coworkers, neighbors and family members about earthquake preparedness. To date, 19.1 million people in the U.S., and 1.7 million in the southeast, are registered to participate. Virginia is not immune to earthquakes—the August 2011 5.8 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Virginia, was felt by one-third of the U.S. population, including us here in Newport News, making it the most felt earthquake in U.S. history. 

Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, October 19 at 10:19 a.m. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”  For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety action is to:
  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees; 
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
  • HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).
Signing up for the drill is free and open-to-the-public. Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups and organizations. To take part in the drill, individuals and organizations are asked to register to participate at Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.