80th Annual Meeting

WHEREAS, public awareness campaigns, preparedness exercises, and early-warning systems can assist in reducing the impact of disaster and can save lives and prevent injuries; and  

WHEREAS, in 2008, a regional earthquake preparation drill called the “ShakeOut” began in Southern California as a way of involving the general public in a large-scale emergency management exercise; and

WHEREAS, by October 2011, the exercise had become known as the “Great California Shakeout” and had grown to become the largest public preparedness exercise in the United States by including over 8.5 million participants throughout the State of California, Oregon, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, and Guam; and

WHEREAS, the ShakeOut exercise drill has now spread to other countries, including Japan, New Zealand, and Canada; and 

WHEREAS, in 2011 the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency created the Great Central U.S. Shakeout, that includes participants in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee; and 

WHEREAS, in February 2012, when it held it second Great Central U.S. Shakeout, over 2.4 million participants had registered to participate in the exercise; and

WHEREAS, the Shakeout exercises involve the participation of federal, state, and local government, private industry, schools, and dozens of partners and have proven to be an effective public awareness campaign; and

WHEREAS, on August 23, 2011, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake, with an epicenter in Virginia, struck the East Coast of the United States and was felt as far north as New England and caused considerable damage; and

WHEREAS, earthquakes can strike anywhere in the United States resulting in the loss of life and property, and reacting appropriately to any earthquake is paramount to minimizing the loss of life; and

WHEREAS, the time has come to develop a national exercise program rather than a regionally-based preparedness and awareness program; and     

WHEREAS, Earthquake Early Warning Systems exist and are available to provide notifications to the public in many countries, including Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Romania, Indonesia and Turkey; and

WHEREAS, a robust Earthquake Early Warning System does not yet exist in the United States; 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the United States Department of Homeland Security to expand its Shakeout exercise program to include an annual nationwide Shakeout Drill in which the entire nation participates in this “Drop, Cover, Hold On” exercise; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the federal government to invest greater resources in the development of a robust Earthquake Early Warning System in the United States.