Great American Shake Out- Earthquake Drill

Great American Shake Out- Earthquake Drill
October 15, 2013 09:00:00
By Nancy Windisch


Dear Parents,


On October 17, 2013, our school will participate in the sixth annual Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in U.S. History. This year California is joined by 41 other states and U.S. territories plus several other countries that are also participating in ShakeOut drills on the same day!  Everyone will practice how to “drop, cover and hold on,” and teachers will discuss the importance of earthquake preparedness with our students. This is the chance for us all to practice what to do during earthquakes to reduce injuries.


At 10:17 a.m., your child will drop to the ground, take cover under a table or desk, and hold on, at the same time as millions of other Californians.


Earthquake preparedness is a responsibility of all Californians and we encourage you to also discuss earthquake readiness with your child and others at home, to take steps to get prepared, and to participate in the ShakeOut. Here are some suggestions:


Participate in the ShakeOut:

  • Register on to be counted in the ShakeOut drill, get email updates, and more.  You can register as a family and also encourage your employer or other organizations to also register.
  • Between now and October 17: Consider what may happen in a big earthquake and plan what you will do now to prepare. Talk to other people about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in registering for the ShakeOut.
  • On October 17 at 10:17 a.m.:
  1. Drop, Cover and Hold On: Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk (or cover your head with your arms), and Hold On to it for at least 60 seconds. Practice now so you will immediately protect yourself during earthquakes!
  2. While on the ground, look around and imagine what would happen in a big earthquake, when shaking may last for 1-2 minutes! What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What can you do now to reduce losses?
  3. Finally, practice what you will do after the shaking stops.


Prepare for earthquakes:

  • Do a “hazard hunt” for items that might fall during earthquakes and secure them.
  • Create a personal or family disaster preparedness plan.
  • Organize or refresh your emergency supply kits. Be sure to store at least one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least 3 days and ideally for 2 weeks.
  • Identify and correct any issues in your home’s structure.
  • Enroll in a local Community Emergency Response team (CERT) training to learn more about how to take care of yourself and your family when you are “on your own” after a disaster.



Earthquake Preparedness Websites

Great California Shake Out.pdf