On March 11, an earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused widespread damage, death and disruption. The fifth largest earthquake in recorded history reminds us here in the Northwest that earthquakes can happen at any time with devastating effects.
For Disaster Preparedness Month, Bellevue residents are invited to participate in a statewide "Drop, Cover and Hold" drill. On April 20, at 9:45 a.m., participants will drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to the desk or table for two minutes.
Most people are injured in earthquakes by furniture or objects (bookshelves, electronics, etc.) falling on them, not from building collapse, which usually only occurs in larger earthquakes. The simple "drop, cover and hold" action has been proven to reduce injuries and deaths related to earthquake shaking.
The recent earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand, Haiti and China emphasize the importance of knowing how to react when an earthquake strikes. What we do before a damaging earthquake will determine how we respond and recover following one.
Who should participate in the Drop, Cover and Hold drill? Interested citizens, schools, businesses, communities, etc. are encouraged to participate. The drill is a commitment to personal safety and is designed to be simple and thought-provoking.
The Bellevue Office of Emergency Management offers more information.
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