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Maryland Department of Emergency Management

Great Shakeout Earthquake Drill to Take Place on Thursday

MEMA Encourages All Maryland Residents To Participate



(REISTERSTOWN, Md.)  October 16, 2018 – Powerful earthquakes are not common in the Mid-Atlantic Region, but the August, 2011 tremor near Mineral, VA, reminded us that we are not immune from the effects of an earthquake. That is why the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is urging Marylanders to participate in Thursday’s Great ShakeOut Drill.

On October 18th at 10:18 a.m. local time, we ask that you join us when we drop, cover, and hold on for earthquake preparedness;

    • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
    • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.


MEMA is proud to join FEMA and the Ready Campaign PrepareAthon to promote earthquake preparedness this October and is encouraging everyone to take part in The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills occurring across the county on October 18th at 10:18 a.m.

“Strong earthquakes are not common in this area, but I am sure many of us remember where we were on August 23, 2011,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “That was a wake-up call for those of us in the Maryland area to learn what to do – and what not to do – during an earthquake.”

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible after effects.  Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and at any time during the day. You could be at work, school, or at home. It is impossible to predict precisely when or where an earthquake will occur, so it is important that you and your family are prepared ahead of time.

A key aspect of the Great ShakeOut is the integration of comprehensive science-based earthquake research and the lessons learned from decades of social science research about why people get prepared.  The result is a “teachable moment” on par with having an actual earthquake (often followed by increased interest in getting ready for earthquakes).  ShakeOut creates the sense of urgency that is needed for people, organizations, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.


More information can be found at Information on the different types of hazards is available at or the Spanish-language web site


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Ed McDonough, 410-446-3333 or

Jorge Castillo, 443-481-3518 or