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The Great Southern California ShakeOut
The Great Southern California ShakeOut

What CERT Members Can Do


We're all in this together-- the more you do to prepare now, before a big earthquake, the better all our lives will be after. And with your participation, ShakeOut will be the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history!

Here are some of the things CERT Members can do to participate in the ShakeOut, to promote participating in the ShakeOut, and to prepare for big earthquakes.

Participate in the ShakeOut:

  • Today:   Register your CERT team to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more. Encourage all CERT team members to register their families.

  • Between now and November 13:   Consider what may happen in a big earthquake and plan what your team will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly. Talk to other CERT teams about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.

  • November 13, 10 a.m.:
    1. Drop, Cover, and Hold On:   Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a magnitude 7.8 earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds). Practice now so you will immediately protect yourself during earthquakes! (See this page for what to do if outside, driving, in a tall building, or other situations. See this page for what to do if you have a disability or an activity limitation.)

    2. While still under the table, or wherever you are, 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 would life be like after? What will you do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?

    3. Test the notification/recall of your local CERT team. Record activation time.

    4. Finally, practice what your team will do after the shaking stops.

      (Detailed drill suggestions will be provided to registered participants.)

  • November 14:   Attend the Get Ready Rally, perhaps as a group, to learn more and share stories about the ShakeOut drill.

  • November 14-16:   Complete your disaster plan or supply kits, or organize a local preparedness event.

Promote the ShakeOut:

  • Encourage your members to register as individuals or families.

  • Ask neighborhood businesses to display posters about ShakeOut in their windows and flyers at their counters.

  • Post the ShakeOut Logo and link on your CERT team website, if you have one.

  • Organize a ShakeOut Party. Invite members or other neighbors for coffee and share personal and family preparedness information and discuss what individuals and their families can do to ShakeOut. Have a computer so everyone can register while there, especially those without internet access.

  • Once you are registered, you will receive ShakeOut preparedness tips, event updates, and more. Forward these to your membership and ask them to forward the e-mails to everyone who matters to them. With your help this can become the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history!

Prepare for earthquakes:

What we do now, before the earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after.

  • Help individuals and families to get prepared. More information is in the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety.

  • Create a block captain plan to go door-to-door to educate your neighbors on emergency preparedness.

  • Create a friendly competition among members. Host a “progressive party” from house to house, and give prizes for residents who have best secured items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and be damaged or cause injury.

  • Test alliances and MOU’s with your critical need vendors, community leaders and sponsoring organizations.

  • Sponsor a CERT refresher course.

  • Make sure all neighbors have an “OK/HELP” sign for their windows. Educate them that after an earthquake, they should post the sign in the window so neighbors know that everything is ok or that help is needed.

  • Check and test your team’s emergency equipment - fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, crank radios, satellite phones, generator, fuel; make sure CERT members know the location and how to utilize supplies.

  • Provide non-English speaking neighbors with written preparedness information in their language.

© 2008 Southern California Earthquake Center @