October 12, 2023265Views

The Virgin Islands will join ‘ShakeOut’, a global practise session to improve earthquake safety, on October 19.

The self-led drill which is expected to draw millions of participants worldwide will be coordinated locally by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM).

Director Jasen Penn said as with other emergency exercises, the goal of ShakeOut is to give persons a sense of how they would react in an emergency.

“Earthquakes can happen without warning, so it is important to respond safely and calmly,” Mr. Penn said. The more we all practise safer earthquake response, the better prepared we can all be after the next major earthquake,”

ShakeOut participants will practise the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” safety method endorsed by emergency officials and first responders.

  1. DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down, protects vital organs, and allows you to stay low to crawl to shelter if nearby.
  2. COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl toward an interior wall away from windows.
  3. HOLD ON until shaking stops. If you are under shelter, hold it with one hand and move with your shelter if it shifts. If you are not under shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Participants may wish to gain more from the drill by reviewing their earthquake response plans and practising them together as a family or organisation.

After the exercise, DDM encourages participants to share photos or video on social media with the #BVIShakeOut tag.

For earthquake preparedness resources or advice on how to customise a ShakeOut drill for your organisation, please contact the Department at (284) 468-4200 or [email protected].

Register to participate in the ShakeOut exercise at