Great Nevada shake-out Thursday |

Great Nevada shake-out Thursday

Staff Reports

There's still time to sign up for Thursday's Great Nevada ShakeOut, the annual public earthquake drill that promotes earthquake awareness and safety. Join 600,000 Nevadans and 52 million people worldwide 10:19 a.m. Thursday at who are practicing how to react in an earthquake.

Since 2010 the University of Nevada, Reno has encouraged Nevadans to Drop, Cover and Hold On as part of the state and international campaign for earthquake safety and preparedness. The University will be activating their emergency alert systems, including sirens so those in the area should not be alarmed, but they should practice what to do during an earthquake. Each participating individual or company can design their own response, from simple to elaborate.

In Nevada, earthquakes are not an exception, they are an expectation. It only takes one minute to register to participate, and another minute to actually participate.

Drop, Cover, and Hold On is the technique promoted by the Great Nevada ShakeOut as the safest way to protect yourself during an earthquake. In the event of an earthquake, people are encouraged to drop to their knees wherever they are, then use one arm to protect the head and neck while using the other hand to hold on to a sturdy table or desk that you are underneath. If a person cannot find something sturdy to hold on to, they should try to get close to an interior wall, and use both arms to protect your head and neck.

"Whatever you do, don't run out of a building, that could be the most dangerous thing, with windows shattering, glass falling, or building materials coming crashing to the ground," Annie Kell, outreach coordinator for the Nevada Seismological Lab, said. "Not to mention in a violent earthquake you can be thrown to the ground and injured."

Residents are also encouraged to 'secure your space,' which includes retrofitting buildings to reduce damage and securing things within that building to prevent injury. Heavy belongings, furniture and falling objects can be a more serious and likely threat to personal safety than crumbling buildings.

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Nevada lies within the Basin and Range Province, one of the most seismically active regions in the United States. Right behind California and Alaska, Nevada ranks in the top three states subject to the most large-scale earthquakes over the last 150 years.

According to the Nevada Seismology Lab's website, "everyone in Nevada lives no more than several miles from an earthquake fault," which means that everybody in Nevada is in danger of being caught in an earthquake. In Reno there are two major fault lines capable of a 7.0 or greater earthquake. A 7.0 earthquake can cause severe damage.

For more information and to sign up for the Great Nevada ShakeOut, visit