(Updated Oct. 15, 10:45 a.m.)
When the earth shook on Aug. 23, 2011, we did not expect it. An earthquake affecting Fairfax County? It caused significant structural damage throughout our area. The quake, with hundreds of aftershocks, damaged more than 1,400 homes and businesses in Virginia.
We experienced a real earthquake and many of us simply did not know what to do.
On Oct. 15, a statewide earthquake drill was held and more than 1 million Virginians participated. You can still hold your own drill and then register your participation by Oct. 29.
The drill is open to everyone:
- Faith communities
- Government agencies
- Schools and colleges
- DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you).
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table.
- HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
Other safety tips:
- If there isn’t a table or desk near you, drop to the ground in an inside corner of the building, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
- Do not try to run to another room to get under a table.
- Don’t run outside. Trying to run is dangerous because the ground is moving and you can easily fall or be injured by falling bricks, glass and other building materials.
- If you need to communicate with family or friends after an earthquake, texting first before making phone calls is highly recommended. And if it’s an emergency, you can now text 911 in Fairfax County.