Local officials taking part in quake drill

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“Shake Out” will be part of nationwide exercise

Kentucky is preparing for the Great Central US Shake Out Earthquake Drill, scheduled for April 28 and the National Level Exercise 2011, scheduled for May 16-20. Scientists, experts and emergency management officials are aware earthquakes similar to, if not greater than, those that recently struck Japan and New Zealand could hit Kentucky anywhere, at any time and we are taking steps to educate and prepare Kentuckians.
Kentucky Emergency Management, the federal government, the commonwealth of Kentucky and Owen County officials, private sector and non-governmental organizations will collaborate on the Great Central U.S. Shakeout and the 2011 National Level Exercise, Owen County Emergency Management Director Rick Morgan said.
These events are designed to educate Americans on what they can do to be better prepared for earthquakes, as well as other catastrophic events.
The 2011 Shake Out drill will be the largest earthquake preparedness event in central U.S. history.  More than 1.8 million participants have already registered with 239,679 participants from Kentucky.
The Shake Out will be centered around a simultaneous drop, cover, and hold drill that will be held at 9:15 a.m. April 28.
To participate and register, visit www.shakeout.org/centralus/kentucky or www.shakeout.org/centralus/kentucky  and pledge your family, school, business or organization’s participation in the drill.
Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about preparedness.
All organizers ask is that participants register so they can be counted and receive communications, and at the minimum practice “Drop, Cover and Hold on!”
Kentucky will use a mock catastrophic earthquake to drive the upcoming Tier I exercise, known as NLE 2011, which will simulate the decisions and actions that top officials should be prepared to take in the first 96-hours following a devastating earthquake.
This is the first NLE to focus on a natural hazard, rather than a terrorism-focused scenario.
In planning since 2008, NLE 2011 is expected to be the largest joint exercise in United States history and will include activities with local responders, federal and state emergency management officials, private sector partners and volunteer organizations at multiple venues around the region, as well as in Washington D.C. and various FEMA regional offices.  Everyone, including private citizens, is invited to participate and exercise their own earthquake preparations. 
Certificates of participation will be issued to those who register and participate in online NLE 2011 surveys.
For more information on the NLE 2011 and to register as a participant, visit www.kyem.ky.gov/nle2011 or www.kyem.ky.gov/nle2011. 
You will also find external information, related social media sites and links to Kentucky’s Earthquake Preparedness Program.
The exercise is designed to assess response and recovery capabilities both nationally and regionally.  Kentucky will use the exercise to update and rewrite the Commonwealth Catastrophic Earthquake Response Plan. Individuals and their families can take the following steps to prepare for earthquakes: Get an emergency supply kit. Make a family communications plan; Stay informed of the risks in your community. Check for hazards in the home. Identify safe places indoors and outdoors; and educate yourself and family members. For more information on preparing for an earthquake and other emergencies, please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.kyem.ky.gov/programs/earthquake/” www.kyem.ky.gov/programs/earthquake/ .