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Adventist Health Portland to participate in the Great ShakeOut

News, Emergency Services

Following FEMA’s National Preparedness Month in September, individuals and communities throughout the Pacific Northwest will participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill.

Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the Great ShakeOutis set for Thursday,October 21, 2021. During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “drop, cover, and hold on.” Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:

  • Drop where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby
  • Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand
  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
  • Hold on until shaking stops
  • Under shelter: Hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
  • No shelter: Hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands

Recent earthquakes in our region serve as a reminder of the risk that exists in our own community. Historic earthquake and tsunami data also paints a picture of what might take place during a major earthquake in the future. While many details may be unpredictable, the Great ShakeOut provides an opportunity to focus on preparedness.

Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii, will be participating in the Great Shakeout drill. Adventist Health Portland is conducting a Great ShakeOut drill at the hospital on October 21.

According to Brenda Descloux, emergency manager for Adventist Health’s Oregon hospitals and clinics, “While damaging earthquakes here may be fewer in number when compared to other areas, they can occur at any time wherever we work, live, or travel within the region and beyond. Everyone, everywhere should know how to protect themselves from an earthquake.”

The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

To date, more than 520,000 people are registered to participate in this event in Oregon. Millions of people around the globe are expected to participate; and in addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.