The first Great Southeast ShakeOut, an earthquake drill across the mid-Atlantic region, is set for 10:18 a.m. Thursday.
More than 1.4 million people across the Southeast United States and elsewhere are registered to participate. More than 839,000 Virginia residents are participating.
"We’re encouraging residents to register to participate in the drill—it shouldn’t take very long to take part, plus it’s a great opportunity for residents to practice what they’d do if we have another earthquake anytime soon, as well as a 'top of mind' awareness about the importance of being prepared for any type of emergency situation," said Jim Person, a spokesman for Fairfax County, in September.
Virginia residents are joining people in Maryland, the District of Columbia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in the drill. The 2011 earthquake shook all of those areas.
Fairfax County will send out an alert Thursday around 10 a.m. – "kind of a participatory reminder about the drill," Person said, followed by an alert announcing the start of the drill along with one to conclude the drill.
There is still time to sign up for the drill at www.shakeout.org/southeast. Once registered, participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to engage communities to become better prepared for earthquakes and disasters.
The recommended course of action during any earthquake is drop, cover and hold on. Most earthquake-related injuries are sustained from falling objects.