Louisa Co. students ordered to stop, take cover, hold on during ‘Great ShakeOut’

Posted at 4:21 PM, Oct 19, 2012

LOUISA COUNTY, Va (WTVR) -- For the first time Virginia took part in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill Thursday morning.  At exactly 10:18 a.m. on 10/18 the nation participated in the annual preparedness drill.  This drill is nothing new to those in Louisa County.

"They handle themselves in a very orderly and mature way, and that's going to keep us very safe," Dr. Deborah Pettit, Louisa County Superintendent said.

After the alarm sounded, the Louisa County students and staff joined the nearly one-million Virginians and even more across the country taking part in the Great ShakeOut. 

"This might be the first time that the east coast has made a big deal of the drill, and I'm glad that we are," Dr. Pettit said.

The idea is to drop, take cover and hold on during the exercise.  Although it was only practice on Thursday, those in Louisa County have experienced and survived an actual quake.  Last year on August 23, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shook the town of Mineral, Virginia. 

Dr. Pettit said the nearly 4,500 students in Louisa County know first hand it's never too early to prepare, but it can be too late.

"When the ground shakes under your feet it is scary," Dr. Pettit said.  "But now we have ingrained into our students and into our staff this is how you conduct yourself when it's happening so you can be safe."

The drill came a week before the county breaks ground on a new $13 million elementary school.  Which is set to be complete in 2014--three years after the quake shook the area and severely rattled nerves.

"I look back and think of all that has happened over the year," Dr. Pettit said.  "It's emotional in a good way to think, okay we are moving ahead."