FEMA’s “shakeout”


One of the spires , left, of the National Cathedral toppled in a 2011 earthquake. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Alas, rock’s legendary bad boy, a.k.a. “The Killer,” won’t be there. And the event’s got nothing to do with music.

Turns out the “ShakeOut” is a FEMA earthquake drill, trying to teach people in the District, Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas and Georgia what to do in the event of an earthquake.

They want people to “practice the recommended action during an earthquake,” called the “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.” This is not a dance routine but stands for “Drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to it until the shaking stops.”

Ought to work pretty well — unless the whole building you’re in collapses. Still, folks in this area got pretty earthquake-sensitive after that magnitude 5.8 one a year ago August that was centered in Mineral, Va.

FEMA says it’s hoping that more than 1 million people in this region will participate in the drill, which begins at 10:18 a.m.

There’s a Web site: www.shakeout.org.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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