By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Great Oregon Shakeout on tap Thursday

Exercise will take less than half an hour

At 10:16 a.m. Oct. 16, participants will crouch under the nearest desk or table and hang on, pretending the land is rocking violently due to a subduction zone earthquake. At the same time, drill organizers urge them to look around and think about what might happen in a real earthquake, in order to identify any risks they might be able to mitigate.

In Yamhill County, Emergency Manager Sue Lamb said, "Visitors to county facilities may find themselves being advised to take cover as well and to evacuate the building once the buildings stop shaking. The entire exercise will take less than half an hour. However, practice goes a long way to being better prepared when an actual emergency strikes."

Organizers hope to make it the largest earthquake drill in history.

Other suggested activities include updating emergency supply kits; creating individual family plans, that take into account special needs, such as caring for seniors or disabled members, or for pets; teaching all household members how to use a fire extinguisher; creating wallet cards for all family members, with essential contact information; scheduling a home structural inspection; securing any household items that could fall, and looking into earthquake insurance.

Steps recommended to secure homes in advance include strapping water heaters, installing locks on cupboards, attaching bookcases and other heavy pieces of furniture to wall studs, moving heavy objects to lower shelves, moving heavy objects away from beds and couches, hanging mirrors and pictures on closed hooks to prevent them from falling, using museum putty to secure smaller wall hangings and securing electronic equipment with straps. Steps recommended in the immediate aftermath include administering first aid, extinguishing fires, cleaning up spills and switching off gas valves and electrical breakers.

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