Every year, millions of people worldwide recognize the third Thursday of October as International ShakeOut Day, a time specifically geared toward earthquake preparedness.  

This year’s observance will take place on Thursday, October 19th, and, like always, will involve conducting drills and exercises, namely the Great ShakeOut Drill. It will take place at 10:19 a.m. (local time), reminding participants everywhere of the crucial safety steps “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” as if experiencing a major earthquake.  

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the National Earthquake Information Center locates about 20,000 earthquakes around the globe each year, or approximately 55 per day. Knowing this and given long-term records, about 16 major earthquakes in any given year can be expected. That includes 15 earthquakes in the magnitude 7 range and one earthquake with a magnitude 8.0 or greater.  

Interestingly, in the past 40-50 years, USGS records show that the world has exceeded the long-term average of major earthquakes about a dozen times. The year with the largest total was 2010, with 23 major earthquakes (greater than or equal to a magnitude 7.0.). In other years, the total was well below the annual long-term average; 1989 only had six major earthquakes, and 1988 had seven.  

Of course, images and stories like those from Morocco last month remind us of the tremendous danger and damage of earthquakes. There, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the kingdom’s High Atlas Mountain range on September 8th, 2023. Sadly, well over 2,500 people lost their lives in the devastation, and thousands of others were injured. 

At BOLDplanning, a division of Agility, we understand the importance of preparedness and encourage you to recognize International ShakeOut Day 2023 and participate in the Great ShakeOut Drill. The drill only takes a minute and could ultimately save your life or the lives of others. Register now (as an individual or an organization) at https://www.shakeout.org/register/ to join the nearly 50 million participants who have done so already.  

For additional updates and helpful information, receive Great ShakeOut text updates from FEMA by texting “ShakeOut” to 43362.

BOLDplanning provides expert consultative services coupled with a powerful, cloud-based platform for developing emergency, continuity, and hazard mitigation plans. Let us give you the confidence and peace of mind in knowing your community or organization is ready for any critical event, including earthquakes. Contact us today at 615.469.5558 or info@BOLDplanning for a no-obligation discussion of your preparedness planning needs.