Preparedness Month, 5th report: ‘Drop, Cover, Hold,’ and then…

If an earthquake hit now, what would you do? If you replied “Run for a doorway” – sorry, wrong. The advice these days is “Drop, Cover, Hold.” As our nightly Disaster Preparedness Month spotlights continue, with a focus on quake preparedness/survival – there’s a little more to “Drop, Cover, Hold” than those three steps. We’ve found a few videos that have extra information that can increase the chances “Drop, Cover, Hold” – or as some put it, “Drop, Cover, Hold On” – will save you. They’re right after the jump:

First, from our neighbors to the north – one simple, minute-long video made for a British Columbia-wide quake drill earlier this year indicates you might consider the mnemonic “Drop, Cover, Hold, Count”:

Then, this video from a production company includes some extra advice, such as how people who use wheelchairs can modify “Drop, Cover, Hold,” and also information to help you be sure you have someplace to “cover” if need be:

And if you still need convincing about why NOT to run when a quake hits – listen to some of the stories at the start of this video, which also includes DCH instruction:

What if you or someone nearby still gets hurt? You can prepare for that with the first-aid info that will be part of West Seattle Be Prepared‘s free training session this Thursday night, 6 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon, enter on the Oregon side). More info here.

What? Not familiar with West Seattle Be Prepared? It’s the awesome volunteer organization that has our peninsula ahead of most other local neighborhoods in terms of preparedness – but it doesn’t work without your involvement. First place to dive in: Their website, and the Facebook group too.

P.S. DELRIDGE HUB ORGANIZING MEETING TONIGHT: Found out about this just as we were finishing this update: North Delridge is working to organize its Emergency Communication Hub (concept explained here), and needs help! 7 pm tonight, Delridge Library, come see how you can lend a hand. NDNC’s Karrie Kohlhaas elaborates:

No special skills or training necessary. You are welcome to come to our gathering and see if you’d like to be more involved.

Ways to help:

* Agree to help staff the Hub in the event of the disaster, roles to be decided at our meetings, training, drills
* Assist with disaster preparation, putting together our necessary supplies, planning, training, drills, etc
* Train to serve as a SNAP team member in our area
* Other tasks and roles will emerge as we get underway.

We will help connect people who would like training to free training opportunities in our community (SNAP) and online (FEMA).

If you cannot attend the meeting but are interested in participating, e-mail

3 Replies to "Preparedness Month, 5th report: 'Drop, Cover, Hold,' and then..."

  • morcaffeineplease April 6, 2011 (6:16 am)

    sorry, but I will not put my life in the hands of a pressed wood Ikea table top while a huge file cabinet comes crashing down on top of it, and me. I’ll take my chances running for an exit and simultaneously screaming like a little child. This approach has worked well for me in the past. :)

  • mcbride April 6, 2011 (11:03 am)

    You might want to invest in a sturdier table, and/or securing that cabinet to the wall. A non-brick house (stick-and-frame construction in earthquake parlance) is about the safest structure you can be in. In a major event, outside is far more dangerous – trees, powerlines, motorists, and debris falling from other structures are far more serious threats.
    For many folks, chances are pretty high that you will be in the workplace, where you spend a third or more of every weekday. This is particularly important advice there. In many buildings, what we think of as the ceiling is accoustical tile (heavy in it’s own right), hiding 4-5′ of space before the deck of the next floor. All kinds of heavy things up there. Please get under your desk or a table.

  • DP April 6, 2011 (6:19 pm)

    Thanks very much for this!
    During the Nisqually quake, I was on the fourth floor of a building in an office complex in Kent. (This is where some of the worst shaking occured.) When the quake hit, I was one of the few people in my office who did as instructed and scooted under my desk.
    Nearly everyone else ventured out to the windows and was standing there with their noses pressed to the plate-glass, watching in awe as the buildings across the way swayed back and forth.
    Ooooh!!! Ahhhhh!!! Look at ’em sway!

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