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“The Great Shakeout” Prepares Texans For Quakes

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When you think about severe weather in North Texas, flash floods and tornadoes come to mind. But the area has experienced a number of minor earthquakes over the last few years. Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants to make sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a major earthquake.

More than two million people across the country are expected to drop, cover and hold on for at least 60-seconds Thursday morning.  The “Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” happens at 10:15 a.m.

Organizers hope the drop, cover and hold on drill will encourage communities to “work together towards disaster preparedness.” Being prepared is the key.

“You just don’t think about it in this part of the country, or at least we didn’t,” FEMA Public Affairs Specialist Earl Armstrong said. “But this is just an effort to raise awareness.”

A number of Texas schools, businesses, and government locations will participate in the drill. Last year nearly 2.5 million people participated.

Studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes over the last several decades show that people are more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects, than dying in a collapsed building.

FEMA officials say the safest course of action during an earthquake is to get indoors and utilize everyday furniture. “Drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops,” Armstrong advised.

An earthquake drill in North Texas may seem unnecessary but keep in mind; scientists say there is a 25- to 40-percent likelihood that a damaging earthquake will happen in the central U.S. within the next 50 years.

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