Are You Ready to ShakeOut on October 21?

The International ShakeOut Day, every third Thursday of October, is a day of individual and community events featuring the largest earthquake drill ever, organized to inspire others to get ready for big earthquakes, and to prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. What we do to prepare now, before the next big earthquake, will determine how well we can survive and recover. ShakeOut will occur in houses, workplaces, schools, and public spaces on October 21, 2021.

Earthquakes may happen anywhere you work, live, or travel. Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills are our chance to practice together how to protect ourselves, and for everyone to become prepared. The goal is to save lives and prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make many adaptations for home, work, and school — all while learning a lot. As you plan for ShakeOut this year, consider: When was the last time you checked on your disaster supplies? Have you “Secured Your Space” to prevent damage and injury? What changes are there to your emergency plans and contacts? 

During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”.  Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to: 

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

HOLD ON until shaking stops

  • Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
  • No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Learn more and register at

Learn about the first ever statewide public earthquake warning system, Earthquake Warning California, in last month’s Monarch Press article “Receive Earthquake Warnings with the MyShake App.”