The Department of Disaster Management is coordinating a local observance of the global “ShakeOut” earthquake drill today.

The self-led exercise, which is expected to draw millions of participants worldwide, is designed to give residents a sense of how they might react in an emergency, according to DDM Director Jasen Penn.

“Earthquakes can happen without warning, so it is important to respond safely and calmly,” Mr. Penn said. “The more we all practise safer earthquake response, the better prepared we can all be after the next major earthquake.”

ShakeOut participants are encouraged to practise the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” safety method endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, according to DDM.

First, they should drop onto their hands and knees, thus protecting their vital organs and preventing a fall.

Then they should cover their head and neck with one arm or hand and crawl under a sturdy table or desk if one is nearby — or, alternatively, toward an interior wall away from windows.

Residents are urged to practise sheltering under a table or a desk as part of the “ShakeOut” drill planned for today (Photo: GIS)

Finally, they should hold on until the shaking stops.

“If you are under shelter, hold it with one hand and move with your shelter if it shifts,” DDM advised. “If you are not under shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.”


Participants may also use the drill to review their earthquake response plans and practise them together as a family or organisation, according to the agency.

After the exercise, DDM encourages participants to share photos or video on social media with the hashtag “#BVIShakeOut.”