According to the Arizona Geological Survey, the people of Arizona have experienced more than 3,000 earthquakes since 1852. That’s why all schools in the Yuma Union High School District will participate in the “Great Arizona ShakeOut” – an entire week plus early.
This means that at 10:10 a.m. on Thursday, everyone on all YUHSD campuses should “Drop, Cover and Hold on” as if a major earthquake were happening right now, and stay in that position for 60 seconds.
For the eighth consecutive year, Arizona is embracing the event. More than 80,000 Arizonans are expected to participate in total this year, the majority of which are from K-12 schools in the state. In Yuma County, more than 35,000 people have already registered, including all YUHSD campuses.
“If they learn how to do it now, it’s something they’ll know how to do the rest of their lives,” said Michael Conway, Arizona Geological Survey research scientist, who is also coordinating the event for the State.
Almost 52 million people around the world are expected to participate in this year’s shakeout. Even though the official date for this international event is next week, YUHSD has chosen to do so this week due to its fall break.
The goal of the event is to encourage individuals, their communities, schools and organizations to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure the space in order to prevent damage and injury.
YUHSD schools are using ShakeOut Day to practice large-scale emergency preparedness as well. Some schools will discuss the importance of being prepared in class after the event, while others will organize other emergency drills throughout the day.
The Arizona Seismic Belt records earthquakes of 5.0 or greater every 10 years or so.