HELENA – The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that rattled Lincoln this past July and the many aftershocks that followed are a strong reminder that Big Sky Country is earthquake country.

On Thursday morning, local disaster and emergency service officials will hold the annual “Great Montana Shakeout” drill.

The goal of the exercise is to train people to drop, duck, cover and hold until the ground stops shaking.

Lewis and Clark Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Paul Spengler says the best way to survive a quake, if you’re inside a building, is to ride it out in place and then exit when the quake is over.

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“The drill will probably take about ten or fifteen minutes,” Spengler said. “But it’s a great way to get adults, especially, to be conditioned for the proper response, drop, duck, cover and hold when the ground shakes.”

The drill will start at 10:19 Thursday morning.

Spengler has a few tips for surviving an earthquake:

  • Keep a sturdy pair of shoes by your bedside for when you need to exit your home. In earthquakes, windows tend to shatter inward, so you need to protect your feet.
  • Establish a rally point outside your home or workplace to gather together once a quake stops.
  • Do an inventory of your home or workplace, looking for heavy objects that are located in high places. During a quake, those things can become deadly falling hazards.
  • Be prepared with three to four days worth of supplies on hand at home. That’s how long it will typically take for substantial help to make it to your neighborhood. That includes a gallon of water a day for each person, food supplies and ways to keep warm during that time.

Learn more about the Shakeout here.
Find out how you, your family and coworkers can plan for a disaster here.