MERRIMAC — Fire Chief Larry S. Fisher and the Merrimac Fire Department wish to provide earthquake safety tips ahead of International ShakeOut Day and encourage residents to participate in an earthquake drill.
International ShakeOut Day is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about what to do if an earthquake strikes. People from all over the world participate and it is recognized as the world’s largest earthquake drill.
International ShakeOut Day will take place this year on Thursday, Oct. 21. Individuals, schools, businesses and organizations in Merrimac are encouraged to conduct a one-minute earthquake drill at 10:21 a.m. where they drop, cover, and hold on. To learn more about how to participate, please click here.
“An earthquake may strike when you are at work, at home, or even on vacation, which is why it is so important for each and every resident to know what to do in case one does,” said Chief Fisher. “We encourage businesses, organizations, and even individuals to take this day as an opportunity to conduct a drill, practice the proper steps and teach others what to do.”
Anyone unable to participate on the day of the event is encouraged to hold an earthquake drill at another time.
The event also serves as a reminder for organizations to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure spaces to prevent damage and injuries from earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The Merrimac Fire Department shares steps that residents should take in the event of an earthquake provided by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency:
If You Are Inside
- Stay inside. Do not get in a doorway — this does not provide protection from falling or flying objects and you might not be able to remain standing.
- Drop, Cover, and Hold On
- Drop down to the ground so the earthquake does not knock you down.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris. If possible, crawl under a sturdy desk, table, or another piece of furniture for additional protection. Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and other items that could fall.
- Hold on to any sturdy item you can until the shaking stops.
If You Are Outside
Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
If You Are in a Vehicle
Pull to the side of the road and stay inside until the earthquake is over. Do not stop under overpasses or power lines.