Preparing For Nevada's Next Big One - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Preparing For Nevada's Next Big One

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In the classrooms of kids at Sierra Vista Elementary last year, we witnessed a dramatic exercise: young students diving under desks to a threatening noise over the loudspeakers. That day is coming again. City of Reno Emergency Manager Sandy Munns demonstrated for us what everyone should practice. Falling to the floor, he shouted, "The grounds starts shaking...drop to the ground...cover under any kind of object, and hold on!"

Each year, October 18th is set aside for the Great Shakeout. At 10:18 this Thursday morning, they want you to do just what Sandy did. As he told us, "The goal is to get as many people informed as possible. Be safe during an earthquake."

The idea for a Shakeout started in California, but Nevada has a big reason to be a player. We're the 3rd most earthquake-prone state in the country. At a news conference to get the word out Monday, we saw a map covered in red and yellow dots, representing all the earthquake events of just over the past year in our area. As a matter of fact, we just had some minor shakers in Spanish Springs. Ken Smith at UNR's Nevada Seismological Laboratory told us, "They're still going on, there's just a lot of them. They're very small. I mean, the biggest is only a magnitude one, so I don't think anyone can feel anything."

But Smith knows there could be a major quake here in any moment of any day. There was the swarm in 2008 that cracked homes in Somersett. That same year, buildings were knocked down in Wells, Nevada from a magnitude 6.0. The last magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Nevada was 58 years ago. The average...is every 27 years. Smith told us, "We're always kind of due for an earthquake in a sense, and it wouldn't be a surprise to have a big earthquake here at any time."

Like any gambler knows, lucky streaks eventually end. And when it does, rooms like the Washoe County's Emergency Operations Center will be filled. Damage will occur on a massive scale. As Smith put it, "It could damage roads, bridges. It could damage the infrastructure...pipelines."

This Thursday will mark the third year of the Great Nevada Shakeout earthquake drill. Authorities are asking businesses, schools, neighborhoods and households to join in and take part.

-written by John Potter

We have a link where you can sign up, complete with earthquake survival tips. Just click below:

http://www.shakeout.org/nevada/

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