Earthquake Shakeout Day in Virginia: October 18

Participate in the Oct. 18 Great SouthEast ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

Dear Fellow State Employees:

The scope of last year’s damaging quake underscores why it is critical that state employees and their families know what to do when earthquakes occur. Governor McDonnell has proclaimed Thursday, Oct. 18 as EARTHQUAKE SHAKEOUT DAY in Virginia. At 10:18 a.m., Virginia will join Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, and the District of Columbia in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, a simultaneous earthquake drill.

Today, in his announcement, Governor McDonnell said, “Whether you are at home, at school or at work on Oct. 18, I encourage you to stop whatever you are doing at 10:18 a.m. and take part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut. Earthquakes don’t give us warnings, and practicing what to do will help us all remember how to be safe the next time the ground shakes.”

Emergency management and preparedness experts agree that DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON is the safe response to reduce injuries and deaths during earthquakes in the U.S.

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you)
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

Learn about your agency’s participation in the Oct. 18 drill. For more on earthquake safety and the Great SouthEast ShakeOut, please visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s website at

Lisa M. Hicks-Thomas
Secretary of Administration

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