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Record 21 Million to Practice Earthquake Safety

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, a worldwide safety movement, are involving a record number of participants in 2015, with more than 40 million people (and counting) registered in 60 countries. Minimum participation in ShakeOut involves a one-minute earthquake drill, with most participants practicing how to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On." Many choose to do more, such as holding table-top exercises, evacuation drills, and even mock search-and-rescue.

Everyone, everyone should know how to protect themselves from earthquakes, as they may occur anytime where you live, work, or travel. The big, devastating events of 2015, including the M7.8 Nepal Earthquake in April and the M8.3 Chile Earthquake and Tsunami in September, are reminders of the need for improving earthquake preparedness and training worldwide.

On Thursday, 10/15, at 10:15 a.m. local time around the world, more than 21 million people will hold earthquake drills as part of the annual International ShakeOut Day of Action. ShakeOut provides individuals, families, schools, businesses, and other organizations the opportunity to come together on one day, as a whole community, and improve their earthquake safety.

Participants register and find resources for their drills at ShakeOut.org, a website managed by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) at the University of Southern California. With funding from the National Science Foundation and United States Geological Survey, SCEC coordinates earth science research at more than 60 universities. With primary funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, SCEC's Communication, Education, and Outreach program leads the Great California ShakeOut and coordinates with regional ShakeOut leaders worldwide. This includes nearly every U.S. state and territory, which in total will have more than 20 million participants in 2015.

"ShakeOut is designed to encourage conversations about earthquake preparedness, for people to see others taking action, and to provide consensus-based information," said Mark Benthien, Global ShakeOut Coordinator at SCEC. "These are factors that social science has determined best motivate preparedness. We're all in this together!

CONTACT: Jason Ballmann Southern California Earthquake Center 213.740.1560 ballmann@usc.eduSource: Southern California Earthquake Center