Baltimore County emergency management officials encourage local residents to participate in the "Great ShakeOut Drill," designed to improve our response to earthquakes.

Powerful earthquakes are uncommon in the Mid-Atlantic, but earthquakes do occur here occasionally. The most recent noteworthy example: The August 23, 2011 tremor near Mineral, VA, which was felt throughout the Baltimore region.

Great ShakeOut drills will occur across the U.S. on Thursday, October 18 at 10:18 a.m. Baltimore County's Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security participates along with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), FEMA and the Ready Campaign PrepareAthon

“Many of us remember where we were on August 23, 2011,” said Jay Ringgold, director of Baltimore County's HS&EM. “We'd never felt anything like that before. That was a wake-up call for those of us in Maryland area to learn what to do – and what not to do – during an earthquake.”

The 10:18 Drill

At 10:18 a.m., ShakeOut participants will drop, cover, and hold on for earthquake preparedness;

o   DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you)

o   Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table

o   HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and at any time during the day. It is impossible to predict when or where an earthquake will occur, so it is important that residents and their families prepare ahead of time.

The Great ShakeOut combines science-based earthquake research and lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared. 

Additional information is available at

# # #