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The Great Southern California ShakeOut
The Great Southern California ShakeOut

What College Students 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 college students 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 to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.

  • Between now and November 13:   Consider what may happen in a big earthquake and plan what you will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly. Talk to other people 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 in bed, 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. Finally, you can practice what you will do after the shaking stops.

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

  • November 14:   Attend the Get Ready Rally to learn more and share stories about the ShakeOut drill.

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

Promote the ShakeOut:

    ShakeOut Flyer

    For Colleges

    (1.5 MB PDF)


  • Invite everyone who matters to you to register for the ShakeOut. With your help this can become the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history!

  • When you register you can spread the word by sending emails from our website to encourage people to join you in the ShakeOut.

  • Post a video of how you, your friends, or your school are “Shaking Out”. Start a competition for the best video.

  • Blog about ShakeOut.

  • Host a Dorm Party. Invite your friends and professors over and share preparedness information, exchange phone numbers, and create an of inventory for your dorm of special skills (search and rescue, first aid, equipment) and needs (medication, etc.). Also, encourage everyone to register while there.

  • Encourage Resident Advisors in your dorm to sponsor an educational program about the ShakeOut and to host a drill in your building.

  • Encourage administrators at your College or University to develop ShakeOut participation events and to register as an institution.

Prepare for earthquakes:

What we do now, before the earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after. The following are key actions from the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety which has additional things you can do to prepare.

  • Do a "hazard hunt" for items that might fall in your dorm room or apartment during earthquakes and secure them.

  • Create a personal disaster-preparedness plan.
    • Plan for your specific needs (Disabled, pets).
    • Locate the nearest fire extinguishers to your dorm room, or get one for your house or apartment. Learn how to use it.
    • Create wallet cards with your family’s essential contact information. Make sure you have you have an out of region number you can use to contact each other if local phone lines are down.
  • Organize or refresh your emergency supply kits.
    • At least one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least 3 days and ideally up to 2 weeks.
    • What else would you need to be on your own for this length of time?
    • What would you need if you are in your car or office when the earthquake strikes?
  • If you live in a dorm, learn the evacuation plan and what measures are in place for an emergency. Make sure you have an unblocked pathway to your nearest exit.

  • Plug all electronics into surge protectors to mitigate fire hazards.

  • 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, or organize a training for your school or dorm.

  • Provide non-English speaking members of your family, friends, dorm-mates or neighbors with written information in their language.

View ShakeOut College/University Participation by County:

Los Angeles |  Orange |  Riverside |  San Bernardino |  San Diego |  Ventura |  Imperial |  Kern |  Other |  All


© 2008 Southern California Earthquake Center @