FEMA plans one-minute earthquake safety drill

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With earthquakes becoming more frequently felt in North Texas, the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is more important now than ever, emergency management officials say.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans a one-minute drill to be conducted across the United States at 10:15 a.m. Thursday.

“We are asking everyone in our region to participate in a one-minute drill wherever you are — be it work, school or home,” said Earl Armstrong, a spokesman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 6 Office in Denton.

The drill is to drop where you are, find a place that will give you cover and hold on to the heavy structure you are under, Armstrong said. It’s a “Drop! Cover! Hold on!” message the agency is trying to help spread to keep people safe.

The event is usually conducted twice a year, and this is the region’s third time to participate.

“Most don’t think about earthquakes ever being something so severe here we need to protect ourselves from, but with this one-minute drill initiative, it will be a good way to practice,” Armstrong said.

Some local schools are participating in the drill.

Elaine Schad, principal of Immaculate Conception Catholic School, said the school would be among them.

“This will be the first time, so this will be a learning process for us,” Schad said. “We are grateful to be able to access FEMA resources in assisting us with this process.”

Cross Oaks Elementary School in Cross Roads will also participate.

School Principal Patty Jensen said this is the first time the school has participated in the ShakeOut drill, and she’s expecting it to be something “quick and easy” that will take no more than two minutes.

“I think it’s important that students and staff would know what to do in the event that an earthquake did happen,” she said.

Staff writer Britney Tabor contributed to this report.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is mgray@dentonrc.com .


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