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Fairbanks Emergency Operations invites community to participate in “Great Alaska Shakeout” event

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 4:24 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - October is time for the annual “Great Alaska Shakeout” earthquake preparedness event, and the Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Operations invites community members to participate.

According to Katherine Janoski, Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, the Shakeout event is a world wide event that spreads earthquake safety drill awareness.

“Shakeout is an international event where countries from all over the world that experience earthquakes participate on a specific day to create earthquake safety awareness and preparedness as well,” Janoski explained. “Across the world, Shakeout is held on the third Thursday of October. This year it’s going to be on October 21, and the time that is designated for people to practice their earthquake drill and safety measures is going to be at 10:21 a.m. to make it easier to remember.”

Community members can sign up their various organizations and groups to participate in the Shakeout and practice earthquake safety drills.

“If they’re going to pledge to participate, they can go to Shakeout.org and register themselves, their family, their business, community church, whoever is agreeable to participating in this important event,” Janoski elaborated. “You don’t have to wait for the third Thursday of October to practice your earthquake drills and know what to do in the event of an earthquake; you can practice anytime you think is necessary. Knowing what to do in an earthquake is so important. Most injuries from earthquakes are not caused by the ground shaking. It’s caused by objects falling and downed power lines and other structural damage that happens when we have an earthquake.”

With Alaska being no stranger to earthquakes, the Great Alaska Shakeout can help refresh community members earthquake drills knowledge according to Janoski.

“Every situation is different,” she said. “You could be in your bed, you could be in your house, you can be on the road, or you could be outside. There’s lots of things to consider when an earthquake event happens, so you need to know what to do. This campaign is there to increase awareness and for people to practice what to do in the event of an earthquake. Alaska has the most earthquakes out of any state in the United States, and they can have anywhere from 50 to 100 earthquakes any given day. We are familiar with them in the interior, but it’s easy to become complacent with the littler earthquakes.”

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