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Maryland Department of Emergency Management

Maryland Residents Encouraged to Participate in Great ShakeOut

Drop, Cover, and Hold On During Preparedness Drill

Thursday at 10:19 a.m.

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Great ShakeOutREISTERSTOWN, MD (October 17, 2023) — The Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) is proud to promote Earthquake Preparedness and encourages Marylanders to take part in The Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills occurring across the Country on October 19 at 10:19 a.m. EDT.  Almost 73,000 people representing approximately 50 organizations, including individuals and families from Maryland were registered as of Friday afternoon. Others are encouraged to register here before the exercise begins.

“We typically do not think of earthquakes as a common hazard in Maryland,” said MDEM Secretary Russ Strickland. “But the 2011 earthquake was a reminder for us to practice what to do – and what NOT to do – in an earthquake.” While powerful earthquakes are not common in the Mid-Atlantic Region, they have happened. The August 23, 2011 tremblor near Mineral, Virginia, was felt throughout our State and reminded us that we are not immune from such activity.

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects.  Earthquakes can happen at any time of the year and at any time during the day. It is impossible to predict 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 integrating 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.

On October 19 at 10:19 a.m. EDT you should 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.

More information about earthquake preparedness can be found at The Great, or

We invite individuals or organizations who participate in the drill on Thursday morning to email pictures to, and we will post some photos on some of our social media platforms.

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Jorge Castillo,, 443-381-3518
Ed McDonough,, 410-446-3333
24/7 line: 877-636-2872