Illinois Earthquake Drill

Illinois Urges Residents to Join Worldwide Earthquake Drill

Getty Images

File photo. A seismograph machine needle drawing a line depicting seismic and earthquake activity.

Do you know what to do in an earthquake? Illinois officials are urging the public to prepare by participating in a worldwide drill they say is the world's largest.

The drill, known as ShakeOut, is scheduled for Thursday morning. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says roughly 200,000 people in Illinois already have registered for the event, which is designed to draw attention to earthquake hazards in the state and around the world.

Participants may register online to receive information about earthquakes and how to prepare. At the time of the drill they'll practice “drop, cover and hold on” — dropping to the ground on their hands and knees, covering the head and neck with one arm to protect from falling objects and holding on to a sturdy desk or table until shaking stops.

According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, there are earthquakes in Illinois about once every year, though damaging earthquakes are much less frequent.

“Fire drills and tornado drills are common practices in schools and at businesses, but not everyone knows what they should do in the event of an earthquake,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “We cannot predict when or where the next devastating earthquake will occur, but we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press