The Great Shakeout raises earthquake awareness

The Great Shakeout

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - The last earthquake felt in this area was more than two years ago and it prompted government and emergency workers to be prepared.

That's what's behind Thursday's "Great Southeastern Shakeout."

We experienced the earthquake drill with a fifth-grade class in Washington County, Virginia.

It was just a normal Thursday morning in a High Point Elementary fifth grade class. But each student was well aware that at some point a message would be heard -- na announcement of an earthquake drill.

And everyone knew exactly what to do: "drop, cover and hold on."

The class is a small part of the same thing happening across the Southeast. "A lot of the states we're doing this at the very same time this morning. I don't know what the number will be but I know that there will be over a million people who will have registered to do this," Emergency Management Director Pokey Harris says.

A quake in the summer of 2011 kind of caught the state off guard, and left some significant damage but thankfully no casualties. "I think that we used to believe that in the mountains we are protected or safe guarded from some the natural disasters but we're starting to see that's not true anymore," Harris said.

So how do you prepare for something totally unexpected. some natural disasters can be predicted but not an earthquake. And just as the students and their teachers have already learned, keep it simple, no matter the disaster. "You make a plan, you get a kit and stay informed. If you take those three principles and apply it any emergency situation I think that you can take came of your family," Harris says.

And there are plenty sources of information to help you get ready.

Click here for more information.

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