Wednesday, July 30, 2014 · 7:06 a.m.

Local Red Cross prepares for Great Central U.S. Shakeout

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A regional earthquake preparedness drill will be held Feb. 7, and residents of East Tennessee are encouraged to participate in order to learn what to do if an earthquake strikes.

The drill, known as the Great Central U.S. Shakeout, will take place at 10:15 a.m. local time.

“You could be anywhere when an earthquake happens,” Mary Beth Birge, Red Cross East Tennessee regional emergency services director, said in a prepared statement. “Households, businesses and schools should take this opportunity to create or update their emergency plans and to practice what to do in case of an earthquake.”

Red Cross also offers an earthquake app, available in both English and Spanish, that gives users access to real-time information so that they know what to do before, during and after earthquakes. The app has checklists to create a family emergency plan; earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey; a "shake zone" impact map that provides simplified impact assessment as soon as it's available; preloaded content that provides instant access to action steps, even if mobile service isn't available; one-touch messaging that allows users to inform people via social media outlets that they are out of harm's way; a toolkit with a flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and locations of open Red Cross shelters. 

The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for "American Red Cross." 

Click here for additional earthquake safety tips.

Additionally, Red Cross offers the Ready Rating Program, which is a free, Web-based program that helps businesses, organizations and schools become more prepared for emergencies. Users complete a self-assessment of their current readiness level and immediately receive customized feedback and resources to improve their scores.

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