August Safety Tip: Earthquakes -- Did You Feel It?

The Safety Tip is provided by U.Va.'s Office of Emergency Preparedness on the 11th of every month.

August 10, 2012 — For returning students, faculty and staff, Aug. 23, 2011 may stick in your mind not only as the first day of classes of the 2011 fall semester, but the day you felt the earth move under your feet. 

At approximately 1:50 p.m., a 5.8-magnitude earthquake rumbled across Grounds, 40-plus miles west of its epicenter in Louisa County. To say it caught us unaware would be like saying Mr. Jefferson dabbled in architecture. The earthquake, along with another 5.8-magnitude temblor on the New York-Ontario border in 1944, is the largest to have occurred in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains since 1897.

How does one prepare for an earthquake? That's the tricky part; you can't really prepare for something that shows up with no notice. What is important to know is how to respond.

In our region of the country, drop, cover and hold on is the recommended action. Just as important is to learn what not to do.

In the wake of last year's experience, Virginia has joined the Great SouthEast ShakeOut Drill scheduled for Oct. 18. Look for updates in tips to come, and visit Ready.Com for more information on earthquakes.

For information, contact the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 434-982-0565 or

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