Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security News Release
For immediate release, October 1, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Duncan (208) 258-6595 or (208) 866-5969
Earthquake Awareness Essentials for Idahoans
Governor’s proclamation and ShakeOut events enhance citizen awareness
(Boise) Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today signed a proclamation designating October 2015 as Earthquake Awareness Month. Thirty-two years ago this month the Borah Peak earthquake killed two schoolchildren, injured a number of others and caused more than $12 million in damages. The Governor’s proclamation encourages Idahoans to be prepared and recognizes the important role emergency managers and others play in public safety in times of disaster.
“Being aware of hazards and risks we face in Idaho is critically important to staying safe and minimizing loss of life,” said Brad Richy, chief of the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. “While earthquakes cannot be predicted, and there is no earthquake season as with wildfires and floods, being aware that they can and do happen in Idaho and having a plan for you and your family can minimize injury and prevent the loss of life.”
The Great Idaho ShakeOut earthquake drill encourages participants to drop, cover and hold on at 10:15 a.m. (local time) October 15, 2015, to prepare themselves for an earthquake. Thousands of Idahoans already are signed up to participate. Participants include Idaho businesses, schools, healthcare organizations, volunteer and non-profit organizations, to name a few. Anyone can participate, from a single individual at home to a small, medium or large company at the workplace. For information on how to be part of this important worldwide effort to enhance earthquake preparedness, go to www.shakeout.org/idaho.
“Idahoans should understand that our state is the sixth most seismically active state in the U.S.,” said State Geologist Michael “Ed” Ratchford, Ph.D. “Two recent examples of earthquakes in Idaho are the Challis 5.0 event that occurred on January 3, 2015 and the Sandpoint 3.9 event on April 24, 2015.
“Historically, Idaho has experienced much larger and damaging earthquakes such as the Borah Peak 6.9 event that occurred on October 28, 1983.”
Earthquake Safety Tips:
- If you are inside stay where you are until the shaking stops. Do not run outside.
- Drop down to your hands and knees so the earthquake doesn’t knock you down and crouch under a table or near an inside wall.
- Cover your head and neck with your arms to protect yourself from falling debris.
- If you are outdoors, move away from buildings, streetlights and utility wires.
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Note to reporters: The Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is the State of Idaho’s emergency management agency. Please note that IBHS is an Idaho-specific agency, and it is not the same thing as the federal Department of Homeland Security. Within the State of Idaho organizational chart, IBHS is aligned under the State of Idaho Military Division.