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Central Washington University

CWU to Participate in Great Washington ShakeOut October 18

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (October 12, 2012) -- On 10:18 a.m. on October 18, the Central Washington University community, and thousands of other Washingtonians will "drop, cover, and hold on" in the Great Washington ShakeOut.

"We are also coordinating with the local schools," said Anne Egger, CWU professor of geological sciences. "A group of graduate and undergraduate students in geological sciences will be visiting several classrooms at Lincoln, Mt. Stuart, and Valley View Elementary Schools to teach a lesson about earthquakes prior to the drill. The principals and teachers have responded enthusiastically to participating in the drill on the 18th."


Major earthquakes may happen anywhere in Washington. The ShakeOut is a chance for residents to practice protecting themselves and to become prepared. The goal is to prevent a major earthquake from becoming a personal catastrophe.

Why is a “drop, cover, and hold on” drill so important? As with any action or drill, practice makes perfect. People may only have seconds to protect themselves in an earthquake before strong shaking or falling objects incapacitate them.

CWU’s geological sciences department is hosting two lectures in conjunction with on the ShakeOut. Greg Beroza, a seismologist from Stanford University, will speak on “Scenario Earthquakes: Science, Policy, and Preparedness” at 7:00 p.m. on October 17 in Hertz Hall. This talk is free and open to the public. On October 19, Mike Brudzinski of the Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Science at Miami University of Ohio, will present “A Closer Look at How Faults Shimmy and Shake When Plates Try to Get Down” at noon in Lind 104. Both events are free and open to the public.

The ShakeOut also marks the launching of a broader, university-wide initiative, the Cascadia Hazards Institute, which is focused on improving understanding and awareness of the hazards inherent for those living within a dynamic, tectonic environment.

Central will use the ShakeOut to test CWU Alert!, Central’s emergency alert system. Egger and CWU Police Chief Mike Luvera will draft a message reminding students, faculty, and staff what they should do in an earthquake.

CWU Alert! combines the technologies of text messaging, e-mail, and telephone messages to be sent instantly to campus community subscribers whenever there is a campus emergency. CWU Alert! is immediately activated when an incident poses an imminent threat to the safety of the community.

For more information about the Great Washington ShakeOut, including how to become involved, go to

Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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