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The Great Southern California ShakeOut
The Great Southern California ShakeOut

What Faith-Based Organizations 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 Faith-Based Organizations can do to participate in the ShakeOut, to promote participating in the ShakeOut, and to prepare for big earthquakes.

Participate in the ShakeOut:

Sample Drill Scripts
(Simple to Advanced)

For Organizations

(184 KB PDF)


  • Today:   Register your organization 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 your organization will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly. Use or modify one of the sample drill scripts we have developed for organizations to plan their drill. Talk to other places of worship 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:    Have your staff (and any others present at the time) 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 they will immediately protect themselves 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 they are, have them look around and imagine what would happen in a big earthquake, when shaking may last for 1-2 minutes! What would fall on them or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like after? What will your organization do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?

    3. Finally, your organization can practice what your staff and congregation 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, perhaps as a group.

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

Promote the ShakeOut:

  • Invite your staff and congregation to register as individuals to participate in the ShakeOut.

  • Display posters about ShakeOut in public areas and on staff bulletin boards. Distribute ShakeOut flyers at services and other events. Include a flyer in paycheck envelopes, or an article in your newsletter.

  • Add a link to ShakeOut.org on your website; use one of several ShakeOut web banners.

  • Hold a meeting among your congregation and share personal and family preparedness information and discuss what individuals and their families can do to ShakeOut. Have everyone register while at the meeting, especially those without internet access.

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

  • Design and host preparedness events to encourage your community to join the ShakeOut and prepare for disasters. Create alliances with other organizations to make the event a bigger success.

Prepare for earthquakes:

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

  • Encourage your staff and congregation to get ready: The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety is a good source for things individuals and families can do to prepare.

  • Do a facility inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and be damaged or cause injury and secure them.

  • If your organization does not have a specific mission for disaster response, discuss what role is likely to emerge for your organization and begin to plan and create alliances to meet the mission of that role. If your organization has a specific mission for disaster response activities, review and drill your plan.

  • Develop, review or exercise your business continuity plan with staff to identify and practice their responsibilities.
    • Create or review your staff contact lists and communication plan.
    • Locate utility shut off valves; make sure staff know the location, procedure and responsibilities.
    • Inventory special skills within your organization useful in a disaster (amateur radio operator, search and rescue, etc.)
    • Invite your local Fire Department to your next meeting to explain earthquake safety practices and demonstrate fire extinguisher use to staff.
    • Include your critical need vendors in disaster planning. Create post-disaster agreements.

  • Organize or refresh your emergency equipment - fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, crank radios, satellite phones, generator, fuel; make sure staff know the location and how to utilize supplies.

  • Be prepared for the possibility that your staff may need to shelter in place for 2 – 3 days.
    • Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
    • What other supplies might you need if transportation routes were blocked and staff or visitors needed to remain in your facility for an extended length of time?
  • Identify any structural weaknesses in your building: ask a local earthquake retrofitting contractor for a structural inspection, and develop a plan to address any issues. If you rent your facility, ask the building owner about the state of the building. Consider whether earthquake insurance is right for you.

  • Learn to access and use California Integrated Seismic Network earthquake tools. CISN identifies the strength and location of earthquakes to assist you in making response decisions.

  • Promote first responder and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for your staff.

  • Provide non-English speaking staff or people in your community with written preparedness information in their language.

View ShakeOut Faith-Based Organization Participation by County:

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


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