The 2012 Great Idaho ShakeOut earthquake drill is Oct. 18. Individuals, businesses, schools and government offices are encouraged to participate in a drill to know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

While the potential earthquake hazards depend upon your location, you could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes- at home, at work, at school or even on vacation.

The Great Idaho ShakeOut has been created to help people and organizations get better prepared for a major earthquake and practice how to be protected when they happen. Everyone will practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On”—the right action to take in an earthquake.

To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down — or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond.

If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then drop, cover and hold on:

• DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)

• TAKE COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table

• HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops

Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings in Idaho you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.

If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines, then drop, cover and hold on. Stay there until the shaking stops.

If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

The ShakeOut also provides an opportunity for organizations, schools and families to review and update their emergency preparedness plans.

The website has useful links to information geared toward specific buildings or organizations. There is a check list of dos and don’ts. Check it out at www.shakeout.org  .