Great Nevada ShakeOut Earthquake Drill Readies Students for Emergencies

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Students take cover under their desks during the ShakeOut, an annual earthquake drill.
Students take cover under their desks during the Great Nevada ShakeOut, an annual earthquake drill. Photo: Carla O’Day

Students practiced dropping to the ground, taking cover under their desks, and holding on tight during Thursday’s Great Nevada ShakeOut.

While getting under a desk is generally unacceptable behavior for schoolchildren, this annual event was to teach them how to protect themselves during an earthquake.

“The ShakeOut event provides us with a great opportunity to talk with your students, families, and staff members about how they can prepare for any emergency,” said Jim Hendrickson, Washoe County School District emergency manager. “If an earthquake should strike during school, we are teaching students the skills they need to know to stay as safe as possible until we can reunite them with their families.”

Nevada is the nation’s third most seismically-active state behind Alaska and California.

Students evacuate to the playground as part of the Great Nevada ShakeOut earthquake drill. Photo: Carla O’Day

All Washoe County schools were scheduled to take part in the drill. After being under their desks for 60 seconds, children walked outside with their classes as they would during a fire drill.

“When the shaking stops, you want to evacuate the building,” said Amanda Stulock, assistant principal at Brown Elementary School. “If a building is crumbling, you need to be out.”

Information from the Nevada Seismological Laboratory states those at home are safest under a sturdy table or desk and away from heavy appliances, such as refrigerators.

“If you are not near a desk or table, drop to the floor against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms,” information from the lab states. “Avoid exterior walls, windows, hanging objects, mirrors, and tall furniture.”

On The Web:

Great Nevada ShakeOut: https://www.shakeout.org/nevada/

Nevada Seismological Laboratory: http://www.seismo.unr.edu

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Carla O'Day
About Carla O'Day 271 Articles

Carla has an undergraduate degree in journalism and more than 10 years experience as a daily newspaper reporter. She grew up in Jacksonville, Fla., moved to the Reno area in 2002 and wrote for the Reno Gazette-Journal for 8 years, covering a variety of topics. Prior to that, she covered local government in Fort Pierce, Fla.