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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Earthquake Drill on Thursday is Part of Multistate Exercise

Old Dominion University students, faculty and staff will have an opportunity Thursday, Oct. 15 to learn more about earthquake safety and participate in a simultaneous multistate drill, "The Great Southeast ShakeOut."

The drill will be held Thursday at 10:15 a.m. ODU will test its Emergency Notification System at that time.

Official notifications during the approximately 15-minute drill may be transmitted through outdoor loudspeakers, text messaging, desktop computer alerts, student/faculty/staff email and the ODU website.

Students, faculty and staff who have not already signed up to receive alerts should visit the ODU health and safety website to register for the free service.

Participants will practice the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" maxim, which instructs those caught in an earthquake to drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk if possible and hold onto until the shaking stops.

During an earthquake, a natural instinct may be to run outside. But this is dangerous and can severely compromise safety because the ground is moving and injuries could result from falling or being hit by dislodged bricks, glass and other building materials.

The "Drop, Cover and Hold On" procedure is considered the best response to an earthquake in the United States, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

More than 1.1 million Virginians, including more than 175,000 in higher education and 26,000 in state government, have registered for the 2015 Great Southeast ShakeOut, putting the state on target to meet or exceed the 1.2 million participant mark set in 2014.

Virginia began participating in the multistate drill in 2012, about a year after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck in Mineral, a small community in the central part of the state. Nearly 4,500 individuals and businesses were affected by that earthquake, and the iconic Washington Monument was damaged and subsequently closed for several years for repairs that cost $15 million.

For more information on earthquake safety, visit the ReadyVirginia or Southeast Shakeout websites. Questions should be directed to the Office of Emergency Management: oem@odu.edu or (757) 683-5116.

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