Governor declares October Earthquake Awareness Month

Robert Feeley, Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has proclaimed October as Earthquake Awareness Month. Throughout October, the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security is working to educate Idahoans about the fact that earthquakes occur in Idaho, and there are simple things that can be done to prepare for them.

Twenty-eight years ago, on Oct. 28, 1983, the 6.9 Borah Peak Earthquake struck central Idaho, causing widespread damage and taking two lives. Idaho has experienced several other damaging earthquakes, and our state is among the most active in terms of the number of earthquakes each year. Large, damaging earthquakes are most likely in the mountainous regions of eastern and central Idaho, but all parts of Idaho are under at least a moderate threat.

BHS is coordinating a statewide earthquake drill on Oct. 20, at 10:20 a.m. During this drill participants will drop, cover and hold on for one minute to increase awareness and understanding of the lifesaving technique that should be used during an earthquake. Registering for the drill is easy at Citizens, schools, businesses and organizations are all encouraged to participate in The Great Idaho Shakeout, the largest earthquake drill in Idaho history.

“Sometimes it is easy to forget that earthquakes happen here in Idaho, but it is important to realize that earthquakes happen on geologic timeframes and Idaho does have a sizeable seismic risk,” said BHS Director Brig. Gen. Bill Shawver. “The recent earthquake on the east coast as well as the ones we have seen internationally remind us that earthquakes can strike when they are least expected. Given our state’s geology it is prudent and important to be prepared for the inevitable.”

Due to the fact that earthquakes are difficult to predict, it is important for all Idahoans to have a disaster plan, a disaster supply kit, and to consider making their homes safer from earthquakes. Detailed earthquake preparedness information is available online by visiting Idaho BHS at

Published 10-7-2011