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Anniversary serves as a reminder to register for ShakeOut

Posted on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at 11:38 am

Mineral quake hit Aug. 23; everyone can practice earthquake safety Oct. 17

Many Virginians remember where they were and how they reacted Aug. 23, 2011, when an historic 5.8 earthquake centered in Louisa County knocked buildings from foundations and destroyed schools.

“What we observed during the Mineral earthquake was that most of us did not really know what to do,” said Michael Cline, state coordinator of emergency management.  “That’s why we are emphasizing participation in the upcoming earthquake drill.  We want everyone to remember to drop, cover and hold on.”

Following the Mineral earthquake, Virginia joined several southeastern states in the U.S. to help residents learn the safe response to an earthquake by co-sponsoring the Great SouthEast ShakeOut multistate earthquake drill.  During the drill, citizens can practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On,” the best response to an earthquake.  The ShakeOut is set for Thursday, Oct. 17, at 10:17 a.m.

Individuals, schools, businesses and organizations can sign up for the ShakeOut at  During the drill people practice these recommended actions should an earthquake occur:

  • Drop to the ground where you are
  • Take Cover under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck
  • Hold On until the shaking stops

Those who register for the ShakeOut will receive information on how to plan a drill.  The website provides many resources for learning how to be prepared for an earthquake and also for promoting the ShakeOut.  To find these resources, go to

Last year, nearly one million Virginians took part in the first Great SouthEast ShakeOut, a simultaneous earthquake drill held in the southeastern U.S. to coincide with drills held in other states and several countries, giving the effect of a rolling drill.

Meanwhile, construction on a new Thomas Jefferson Elementary School is underway in Louisa County to replace one school that was severely damaged in the earthquake, and groundbreaking on a new Louisa County High School, also badly damaged, is set for Aug. 21.  Partial funding for both schools was provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).