Schools to practice earthquake preparedness

Thousands of Washington state students, as well as millions of people worldwide, will practice their earthquake-safety skills Thursday morning.

The Great Washington ShakeOut will be held at 10:17 a.m. At that time, an earthquake drill will be conducted in schools across the state. Students will practice the drop, cover and hold on technique to help them prepare in the event of an actual earthquake.

State Superintendent Randy Dorn participated in the 2012 ShakeOut at Sumner Middle School. He said he was impressed by how seriously students took the practice. “They understand that we live in an area that has had earthquakes,” he said. “And they know the importance of drop, cover and hold on.”

The ShakeOut is being organized by a number of state agencies, including the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division, the Washington State Seismic Safety Commission, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington State Emergency Management Association.

As of Oct. 15, more than 800,000 people have signed up to participate in the Great Washington ShakeOut. Worldwide, more than 24 million people have signed up.