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Altus community participates in Shakeout to prepare for earthquakes

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

ALTUS, OK (KSWO) -Residents in Altus are preparing to drop, cover and hold on, to be ready when an earthquake strikes Oklahoma.

The Great American Shakeout is a nationwide event that teaches people how to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes. Over 51,000 emergency management groups across the country will practice the drill on Thursday at 10:20 a.m. by stopping what they're doing, drop, cover and hold on. 

It was just a little over a month ago that we felt the shocking 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook from Texas to Idaho. This is surveillance video from a boutique in Chickasha on September 3rd when the earthquake hit. Many members of the community says they felt the record-breaking earthquake all the way in Altus. They say it was a wake up call to make a plan. 

"We really need to talk to our communities and see what we're going to do when something like this happens again because it seems like it's only getting worse," said Sallie Hughes, an Altus resident.

"You really have to plan ahead and have food, shelter and everything you need," said Russell Estelle, an Altus resident. "It could be weeks... the power could go out.  It could be over, you know, like that." 

Jackson County Emergency manager, Wayne Cain says the American Shakeout drill to Drop, Cover and Hold on is practiced for real situations like this.

"It could have been devastating," said Cain."So, being prepared, like I said, in any disaster. Preparation, knowing what to do...those are the things that are going to keep you, your family and your loved ones safe."

Lloyd Colston, the Altus Emergency Manager says if you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, then drop, cover and hold on. If you are driving, pull over to a clear location away from bridges or ramps that might collapse. 

Colston says although Oklahoma doesn't get hit with major earthquakes everyday, it's important to learn to this because we never know when another quake, one that's even larger and more powerful than the one from September, will hit.

"If you are not prepared for earthquakes in Altus, you're going to encounter a record at some point and you may not be in Altus to drop, cover and hold on," said Colston.

Cain says he's just doing his job and looking out for the residents in Jackson County. He says it's better to be safe than sorry.

"We live close to a fault line in Oklahoma," said Cain."They've had some monsters in California, Alaska. Something like that in Southwest Oklahoma would be devastating."

If you want to participate in the Great American Shakeout, be sure to register on the website at and join the rest of the country that will practice the drill on Thursday morning.

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