The Great ShakeOut: Your Key to Earthquake Safety

Imagine waking up to violent shaking that seems to go on forever. That’s what happened when I was almost five-years-old, living with my grandmother in the San Fernando Valley. On January 17th, 1994, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck the region, killing 57 people, injuring nearly 9,000, and causing billions of dollars in damage. I don’t remember much besides fear during the quake itself, but I do vividly remember the days that followed. I remember sitting with my feet up on the couch while my grandma tried to navigate the field of broken glass that used to be some of our most prized possessions. I remember the two of us going to the apartment complex pool carrying a large pasta pot, where I watched as she joined our neighbors who were scooping water into plastic jugs and colorful buckets. I helpfully reminded her that “Pool water is supposed to stay inside the pool. It’s not for drinking”, but we carried it back to our home anyway and heated some of it over a small camp stove. It wasn’t until I was much older that I was able to appreciate how calm she’d kept for me and how scared she must have been.

Earthquakes are unpredictable, but knowing the actions to take before, during, and after an earthquake can help you feel prepared. Knowing what to do during an emergency can help you, your family and your coworkers remain calm.

What is the Great Shakeout?

Join millions of Californians who will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” in The Annual California Great ShakeOut. This is an International event and the state’s largest earthquake drill ever! All businesses are encouraged to participate in the drill (or plan a more extensive exercise) and to inform the public about what’s going on at their company.


International ShakeOut Day is every third Thursday of October; this year, it will be Thursday, October 19th, at 10:19 a.m.

How Can You Participate?

Everyone, everywhere, should know how to protect themselves during an earthquake! Thus, anyone can participate – ShakeOut is for everyone.

Register here and join 8.7 million others who will be committing this time to learning about Earthquake safety. You can find multilingual resources- such as flyers and powerpoints- here!

It’s always a good time to prepare for an earthquake. We know there are many things to be worried about, but when it comes to earthquakes, it is not a matter of if but when one will occur. There is no earthquake season — they can strike any time of year. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts to keep you safe!

 DO Renew Your CPR/First Aid Training: We’re here to assist you with that!

DO Make a Plan: Do you know what to do after an earthquake hits? It’s crucial to review these questions with your family and employees.

DO Prepare: Check this list of emergency preparedness items and ensure you have what you need. From first aid to paperwork, preparation is key.

DON’T Run or Stand in a Doorway: Running can increase the likelihood of injury during an earthquake. In modern houses and buildings, doorways are no safer and do not protect you from flying or falling objects.

DO Stop, Drop, and Hold: Learn how to do it properly and ensure your safety during an earthquake.

Don’t Forget About Your Pets: When you’re stocking up on food and water, remember to grab extra for your furry friends!

Does your business have an emergency action plan? Besides earthquake preparedness, does everyone know what to do during a fire or where to assemble when given the order to evacuate? Need help? Contact us with your questions at [email protected]om

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