February Is Earthquake Awareness Month
February commemorates Earthquake Awareness Month. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched a national public service campaign, Ready.gov, to educate and empower Americans to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate emergencies, hazards, and threats. In addition to providing information and resources on various types of emergencies, Ready.gov maintains a seasonal preparedness calendar to raise awareness about the various natural and man-made hazards on which key stakeholders supporting national preparedness can focus throughout the year. This month, the focus is on understanding how to prepare before, during (Drop, Cover, and Hold On), and after an earthquake.
In addition to Ready.gov, various preparedness activities and drills are available to help education agencies and other key partners think about earthquake safety and response. Every October, the REMS TA Center — along with other Federal, non-Federal, state, and local partners — participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills (ShakeOut) that are designed to enhance earthquake preparedness throughout the country. ShakeOut is an annual national level drill in which participants practice what to do during earthquakes. In support of these drills, the REMS TA Center has a Web page dedicated to ShakeOut. As we focus on earthquake preparedness this month, we encourage you to join in the ShakeOut along with many others, by registering here.
As your National School Safety Center, the REMS TA Center is dedicated to ensuring that national safety campaigns permeate throughout the school context, as well. We have created several resources and tools that are designed to help schools ensure that they are prepared for any type of emergency or hazard. In that the focus for February is on earthquakes, below we have highlighted some of our available tools and resources on earthquake preparedness for your convenience.
- Earthquake Preparedness for Schools Training By Request (TBR). As you may know, the REMS TA Center offers live TBRs on various topics that schools and school districts can request to bring to their jurisdictions. Earthquake Preparedness for Schools is one of the available training topics and is available in the Train the Educator format. As the format implies, this training focuses on providing educators with an overview of the dangers associated with earthquakes in the school setting, and it provides key considerations for preparing for, protecting the school community from, mitigating the effect of, responding to, and recovering from an earthquake. To request this training or any of the other live training topics we offer, visit our TBR Web page.
- Integrating Earthquakes into School Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs) Webinar. In collaboration with Mark Benthien, Global Coordinator of ShakeOut, the REMS TA Center hosted a Webinar that discussed how to include earthquake preparedness in school EOPs. This Webinar provided information on identifying resource needs, lessening the potential impact of an earthquake, and encouraging personal preparedness at home. The event concluded with a question-and-answer session and chat in our Community of Practice (COP). If you are not a member of our COP, you can join today by clicking here.
- Earthquake Preparedness Exercises for Schools Podcast. This podcast was hosted by the REMS TA Center in collaboration with various partners to discuss ways that schools and school districts can develop or implement earthquake-related exercises. The podcast also discussed how schools can work with their local communities to be better prepared for an earthquake, and it provided information about America’s PrepareAthon and ShakeOut. For convenience, you can also review the podcast transcript to get the same important information in a readable format.
- Sample Earthquake Annex. This resource was designed to assist schools with developing an earthquake annex that focuses on what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
Additionally, the REMS TA Center hosted a Twitter chat that highlighted the noteworthy earthquake preparedness efforts in Washington State. To view the conversation or provide insight on your earthquake preparedness efforts, follow the hashtag #ShakeOutSpotlight or follow us on Twitter @remstacenter.