Until a powerful earthquake rocked the East Coast on Aug. 23, 2011, Virginia hadn't paid much attention to quakes. Not anymore.
Thursday, the commonwealth -- along with Maryland and D.C. -- will join more than 1.8 million people in six other states for the Great Southeast Shakeout. The drill will invoke what has become the mantra of earthquake response since then.
The action is called "drop, cover and hold on." That means drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on until the shaking stops.
Schools, business, government agencies and individuals are expected to join in the drill.
The earthquake was centered in Mineral and was felt by an estimated 100 million people along the East Coast and as far north as Canada.