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Media Advisory: Washington National Cathedral to Host Earthquake Experts
Millions to Participate in National Earthquake Drill on October 16
Released: 10/15/2014 10:54:43 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communications and Publishing
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr, MS 119
Reston, VA 20192
Meredith MacKenzie
Phone: 202-776-7700

Jessica Robertson 1-click interview
Phone: 703-648-6624

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Three years after a magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused $25 million worth of damage to its pinnacles, buttresses and ceilings, the Washington National Cathedral will host earthquake experts from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill.  On Thursday, October 16, media availability and live interviews will occur from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. EDT for local morning shows.


Media are invited to conduct interviews in advance of the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill. At 10:16 a.m. local time on October 16, people across the world are encouraged to participate in the drill and practice how to "Drop, Cover, and Hold On."


Thursday, October 16, 2014
6:00 – 9:00 a.m. EDT


Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
(West Front, facing Wisconsin Avenue)


  • Dr. David Applegate, USGS Associate Director for Natural Hazards, will discuss earthquake hazards in the Southeast region.
  • Mark Benthien, Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills Global Coordinator, will speak on the 25.6 million participants around the world taking part in earthquake drills in 2014.
  • A FEMA representative will discuss the importance of public preparedness.
  • James W. Shepherd, Director of Preservation and Facilities for the National Cathedral and chief architect in its restoration project, will discuss progress on repairs since the 2011 earthquake and the work currently underway to protect against future damage.


Media must RSVP to Meredith MacKenzie at: Meredith@westendstrategy.com


Watch a short video with students from Louisa County, Virginia, discussing the re-opening of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, which was also damaged following the magnitude 5.8 earthquake in 2011. USGS Earthquake Hazards Program Associate Coordinator Mike Blanpied also discusses USGS research underway and the role of science as the foundation for understanding hazards and making preparedness decisions.

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