Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Midwesterners Join in the Great American Shakeout

If you have not heard about the recent earthquake and the tsunami in Japan you must have been off of the planet for a week or so.  The event has given me cause to contemplate how well my company is prepared for an earthquake. Even though we are in the heartlands here in the mid-west, most life long mid-westerners know that we are near of adjacent to the New Madrid FaultResearchers tell us that this fault is as, or even more likely to have the “big one” than the San Andreas Fault. 

In many organization the responsibility for employee safety is nestled somewhere in the HR realm, as it is with my company. Recently I had an employee ask me “What should we do in the event of an earthquake?”   I suspect like most mid-western businesses, schools, churches etc. we don’t practice or drill for this, or teach our employees what they should do at work or at home.  My bad!

After a few google searches I was amazed to find out that there are plans for a big earthquake drill here in the Midwest.   Somehow though The Department of Homeland Security has done an excellent job of keeping  the event quiet.  

So,  I found out about The Great American Shakeout which is scheduled for  April 28 at 10:15 a.m.  If you go to the site and sign up and agree to participate DHS will provide you with additional resources.  The State of Illinois has on-line resources for the event as well.

And I have to give the shakeout planners some social media kudos;  you can find them on facebook or twitter.

So on the morning of April 28th you will find me under my desk at 10:15 am. seeing if I make it through the drill.
-Dave Ryan Director of Social Media ISC-SHRM


  1. I had not heard of this. We have not done anything on this issue at my company. I feel bad that I hadn't really considered it, but it seems that things like this don't typically "rise to the top" until it becomes more critical than the day to day stuff. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Bryan I am in the same place too. - Dave

  3. Bradley Galin, SPHRMarch 24, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Our accreditation body requires us to have documented drills for many types of disasters and earthquake is among them. I had gotten an alert on this from a trade association so we have it on our radar. It really is no different than the statewide tornado drills done here in Indiana last week. Hard to duplicate the fear an earthquake brings though!!!