Earthquake drill planned for Oct. 15

An earthquake drill is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15. (Oct. 12, 2020) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

The city of Cordova will sound its alarms at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 as part of a statewide earthquake drill.

Participants in the Great Alaska ShakeOut event are asked to “drop, cover and hold on,” a simple procedure developed to minimize the chance of injury during an earthquake. Earthquake preparedness is of special importance to Alaskans, as Alaska is the most seismically active U.S. state and the site of three of the seven largest earthquakes of the 20th century, organizers said.

It’s important to have an emergency plan practiced ahead of time so that you’re not forced to improvise when an earthquake strikes, said Dmitry Nicolsky, a research associate professor at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“There’s lots of stress when the ground is shaking, and everyone’s mind is overwhelmed with emotions,” Nicolsky said. “Practice really helps… so no one needs to come up with a plan when the ground is shaking.”

As well as recommending the “drop, cover and hold on” method, the Earthquake Country Alliance safety organization recommends against running outside or into other rooms while shaking is occurring, standing in a doorway, or assuming the “triangle of life” position, a safety position promoted virally online but lacking mainstream medical or scientific support.

The public can register online for the event at shakeout.org/alaska/register/index.php.

The next Great Alaska ShakeOut event is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2021.