YUHSD schools participate in 2023 Great Arizona ShakeOut
Yuma Union High School District schools, once again, took part in the “Great Arizona ShakeOut,” the international, two-minute earthquake safety drill, on Thursday, Oct. 19, promptly at 10:19 a.m.
The ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to remain safe during high-magnitude earthquakes: "Drop, Cover and Hold On," according to the event’s official website (shakeout.org). It has also been organized to encourage individuals, their communities, schools, and organizations to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure space in order to prevent damage and injuries.
More than 60,000 Arizonans participate each year in the event, including more than 30,000 participants from K-12 schools in the state. All seven YUHSD schools are annual participants.
“It is important for our staff to practice, just as a coach would have a game plan and would practice that game plan,” YUHSD Director of Health and Safety Henry Gonzalez said. “Whenever we’re allowed to practice our procedures, you increase the skill set and confidence of both staff and students. Ultimately, the goal is to increase positive outcomes, so that everybody is safe.”
YUHSD schools used the ShakeOut as an opportunity to practice widespread emergency preparedness as well. Some schools discussed the importance of being prepared in class following the event, while others conducted other emergency drills throughout the day.
It is the 12th year Arizona has participated in the event. Nearly 45 million people annually take part in the shakeout across the globe.
According to the Arizona Geological Survey, Arizonans have experienced more than 3,500 earthquakes since 1852, including a magnitude 5.3 near Duncan, Arizona in 2014. The Arizona Seismic Belt, which runs from the north-northwestern to the southeastern part of the state, has incurred multiple earthquakes above magnitude 3.0 with a magnitude 5.0 or higher occurring nearly every 10 years or so.