Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed for tomorrow, October 18, as Earthquake Preparedness Day to encourage families, businesses and schools to learn and practice what to do to protect themselves in an earthquake. North Carolina will join other Southeastern states in the first earthquake exercise, scheduled for Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m. “While earthquakes in North Carolina are rare, they do happen,” said Perdue. “In fact, last year, much of our state experienced shaking from an earthquake that originated in Virginia.” Perdue said following three simple steps - drop, cover and hold on - will better protect people in earthquakes. Although ground shaking from earthquakes typically lasts only a minute or two, aftershocks can continue for several days or even weeks. Federal, state and local emergency management experts and rescue teams agree that the best actions to keep you safe in an earthquake are: Drop to the ground (before the earthquake makes you fall), Take cover under a sturdy table or crouch in an inside corner of a building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms, and Hold on until the shaking stops. DO NOT get in a doorway, and DO NOT run outside. Additional information and resource guides are available onwww.shakeout.org/southeast to help various groups prepare for the exercise. “I encourage everyone to take a couple of minutes out of their day to rehearse these potential life-saving actions,” said Perdue.