10:19 a.m. Great Nevada Shakeout comes and goes without another earthquake

The historic district of Wells sustained severe damage in 2008 when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern Nevada town, causing $10 million in damage.

The historic district of Wells sustained severe damage in 2008 when a 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern Nevada town, causing $10 million in damage.

A swarm of earthquakes near Sun Valley northeast of Reno that included a 3.6 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday morning and 3.5 around 1 a.m. Thursday was a gentle reminder that Western Nevada is earthquake country.

Minor earthquakes often don't cause any damage, but it's important to know what to do when a bigger earthquake strikes.

The annual Great Nevada ShakeOut drill promoting earthquake preparedness and safety is 10:19 a.m. today.

With the Genoa Fault snaking along the base of the Carson Range, Western Nevada is one of the most seismically active regions in the country.

To protect yourself during an earthquake, the Great Nevada ShakeOut recommends using the Drop, Cover, and Hold On method. “Drop” means dropping to your knees, “Cover” means protecting your head and neck with one arm and bend over to protect your stomach and chest and taking cover beneath a table or desk, and “Hold On” means hanging onto a sturdy object, like a table leg.

“Holding onto the object you are using for cover can prevent it from moving away as the ground is shaking, leaving you uncovered,” Kyren Bogolub, network seismologist with the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, said.

If you’re unable to find something to take cover under, get close to an interior wall and protect your head and neck with both arms. If you use a wheelchair or walker, lock the wheels or set the brake and bend over and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. Holding a book or other object over your head to protect it is also an option.

Practicing the drill can help to quicken reaction times when an earthquake is happening. Additional steps to take to prepare for an earthquake include identifying and securing items in your home or office that could be shaken off the walls or ceilings, preparing a disaster kit, having a plan for reuniting with family and identifying a space’s earthquake weaknesses will mitigate hazards. Standing in a doorway is not recommended.

At the University of Nevada, Reno, the University Police Services will activate the University emergency alert system. The features of this system include an outdoor notification system, social media posts and all registered students, faculty and staff receiving a text message about the earthquake drill and what to do, among other features.

More information about the Great Nevada ShakeOut drill, including resources to share in classrooms, is available at the Great ShakeOut website at www.shakeout.org

As massive earthquakes rocked Turkey and Morocco earlier this year, and a slew of seismic activity continues to impact Afghanistan, the specter of earthquakes has been at the forefront of peoples’ minds.

“It’s important to remember that Nevada is earthquake country, despite Alaska and California getting a lot of attention” said Bill Savran, the Network Manager for the Nevada Seismological Laboratory. "It’s important to have a plan for when the 'big one' hits."

It has been nearly two decades since Nevada has had a significantly damaging earthquake.

More than 590,000 Nevadans are registered to participate in the Great Nevada ShakeOut drill, and over 52.8 million people are registered worldwide.


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