Monday, October 22, 2012

Great Arizona ShakeOut exceeds expectations

AZGS Extension Service Chief Mike Conway provided this summary report on last week's Great Arizona ShakeOut earthquake exercise.

At 10:18 a.m. on October 18th, more than 62,000 people participated in the Great Arizona ShakeOut; across the US and elsewhere more than 14.5 million people participated.  Here in Arizona, we met and exceeded our goal of ~ 50,000 participants in this first-ever statewide ShakeOut.   More than 46,300 students in 11 counties dropped, covered and held on as part of the drill. Involvement in Yuma County surpassed that of other counties, thanks to the efforts of John Alden (Public Health Emergency Preparedness Program Manager) and Gretchen Robinson (Yuma County Emergency Manager). Yuma County previously participated in California's Great Shakeout because of a history of damage in Yuma from earthquakes on the nearby San Andreas Fault

Media Reports of ShakeOut.  Arizona ShakeOut was reported in newspapers, radio, TV and social media.  A Google Alert for “Arizona ShakeOut” identified nearly 20 media pieces from media outlets in Yuma, Prescott, Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tempe, White Mountains and Tucson.  “Google Alert” is, unfortunately, an imprecise tool that underreports radio, TV and social media, so it is a fair assumption that a number of news articles went unreported.  

ShakeOut 2013.  Planning for ShakeOut 2013 will begin in early 2013.  Our chief goal will be to markedly increase the number of K-12 student participants and to further engage the public, business community, tribal communities, and local, state and federal government employees.

Some ideas for improving ShakeOut 2013 are bulleted here.  If you have other ideas, please send them along and they’ll be added to the list. 

·         Build and broadcast a digital scrapbook of 2012 ShakeOut participants to showcase online (This is one we can work on now, if you have images to share, please send them on.);
·         Develop public service announcements (PSA) to disseminate online and to radio/TV media;
·         Host a YouTube video contest for best promotional ShakeOut video;
·         Engage radio and TV media to broadcast ShakeOut earthquake alert on ShakeOut day;
·         Establish which schools, business, or other entities willing to allow news media filming of the ShakeOut. 
·         Canvas select ShakeOut participants for their experiences – What went well? What could be improved?.
·         Reach out to other ShakeOut organizers in western U.S. for ideas for enhancing ShakeOut.
·         Engage science educators to use ShakeOut to promote earth science literacy.

Last, my thanks to all of you for contributing to a successful ShakeOut.  The simple “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” exercise can reduce injuries and save lives, and you all played a role in making Arizonans more earthquake savvy and safe.

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