Great Alaska ShakeOut encourages earthquake preparedness

 Damage from 2018 Earthquake that hit Anchorage area. (KTVF/Archives)
Damage from 2018 Earthquake that hit Anchorage area. (KTVF/Archives) (KTVF)
Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 5:53 PM AKDT
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Today was the Great Alaska ShakeOut. During the event, participants dropped, covered and held on, to simulate what actions they would take if an earthquake took place.

According to Kate Janoski, the Emergency Management Technician for the Fairbanks North Star Borough Emergency Operations, the Great Alaska ShakeOut is part of a larger event called the Great International ShakeOut.

"Countries all over the world that are earthquake prone countries, practice in an earthquake drill," stated Janoski. "As we all know, Alaska is extremely earthquake prone. We want to make sure that our people and our citizens know what to do in the event of an actual earthquake."

Janoski says the third Thursday of October is designated as ShakeOut day. The time of the drill is correlated with the date of the event. This year's drill took place at 10:17 a.m. because this year's ShakeOut took place on the 17th.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District was one of the active participants in the drill. Janoski says the unpredictable nature of earthquakes makes these drills so useful.

"Unlike most disasters where, … you can expect and anticipate, like hurricanes, snow storms, earthquakes are really unpredictable," said Janoski. “There really isn’t a reliable system or really any sort of system that can actually forecast or predict when an earthquake is going to occur.”

Janoski says there are steps people should take to be prepared before an earthquake strikes.

“Have some supplies ready," began Janoski. "You don’t know if the power’s going to go out or if you’re going to be able to leave the area to evacuate. You want to make sure you have a good emergency supply that’s easy to reach. You should also know exactly where your important documents are in case you have to evacuate and you need that information."

She also suggests securing large objects in a business or home that would otherwise fall during an earthquake, and having a preparedness plan.

Janoski says individuals or organizations don't have to wait until next year's ShakeOut drill to start getting prepared. Go to

for more details on how to be ready for an earthquake.

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