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"Great Southeast ShakeOut" Earthquake Drill

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Chief Human Capital Officers
John Berry, Director
W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency
"Great Southeast ShakeOut" Earthquake Drill

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), requests Federal Executive Departments and Agencies to participate in the "Great Southeast ShakeOut" and to share this memorandum with all Department and Agency employees.

The "Great Southeast ShakeOut," will take place on October 18, 2012. This earthquake drill, which takes only 90-seconds, provides the opportunity for your employees to practice how to stay safe during and after a seismic event. This drill marks the first time a ShakeOut will be formally conducted in the DC metro area and includes participation from residents and employees in Georgia. Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. As representatives of the 1.9 million federal employees around the country who serve as role models for our communities, we strongly encourage all DC-area federal agencies, divisions, and employees to be at the forefront of emergency preparedness and participate in this potentially life-saving event. Sign up today to be a part of the largest earthquake drill in the history of the southeast and join more than 14 million participants across the country and around the world.

The ShakeOut events are coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) which was established in 1983 with support from FEMA. CUSEC's primary objective is to provide dynamic support to multi-state response and recovery planning; resource acquisition, public education and awareness; and promotion, mitigation, and research associated with earthquake preparedness in the Central United States.

For more information about the SouthEast ShakeOut, including registration, a one-page overview and guidancefor how to conduct the simple "Drop! Cover! Hold On!" training activity in the workplace, please visit To sign up for ShakeOut outside of the southeast region, please

For earthquake preparedness tips or general information about preparing yourself and others for any disaster or emergency event, please visit, the FEMA's Emergency Preparedness website. There, you will also find the following steps for being prepared at anytime and anywhere:

Be Informed: Learn about potential emergencies which may occur in your local community and ways to respond to each. In the DC metropolitan area, employees can utilize the NCR Virtual Joint Information Center for information and can sign up for local area alerts including CAPITALALERT and OPM Operating Status alerts. FEMA's Emergency Preparedness Guide for Federal Employees in the National Capital Region provides additional emergency preparedness resources and guidance for employees.

Make a Plan: Learn how to create a Family or Personal Emergency Plan in case you and your loved ones are not together during a disaster or become separated during an emergency event. Employees should consult their own agency’s website for workplace guidance on evacuation and shelter-in-place options.

Build a Kit: Review information about basic emergency kits and how to personalize them with required medications, an emergency medical contact card, first aid supplies, extra food, water, and other necessities. A checklist for items to consider as part of this basic kit is also available.

Get Involved: Whether at work or at home, learn how you can be a part of a volunteer network before, during, and after any disaster event. Employees may also check with their own agencies to find out how to volunteer and help others, including officemates who may need additional assistance during evacuations and shelter-in-place situations.

Remember, preparedness is a shared responsibility. Do your part and practice how to be safe when the shaking begins; no one ever thought an earthquake would strike our area on that August day, but it did. Know what to do the next time disaster strikes.