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The Great Southern California ShakeOut
The Great Southern California ShakeOut

What Local Governments 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!

The emergency management professionals in your city may be participating in the Golden Guardian exercise, an integrated full scale emergency exercise taking place November 13-16. ShakeOut is a public exercise taking place on November 13 only. The two exercises are based on the same scenario for a 7.8 magnitude earthquake; they are designed to complement each other and maximize community preparedness at every level. Golden Guardian participants are encouraged to also register for the ShakeOut, so we can count everyone involved in a drill on November 13. ShakeOut has very few requirements.

Sample Drill Scripts

For Government Facilities

(184 KB PDF)


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

Participate in the ShakeOut:

  • Today: Create a proclamation or resolution encouraging your city’s residents and businesses to  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 your office will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly. Talk to other officials 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:   Direct city departments to register and 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 your staff 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 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, practice what your office 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 organize a local preparedness event.

Promote the ShakeOut:

ShakeOut is a a great way to increase outreach and highlight the work of your city is already doing to promote Emergency Preparedness, such as…

  • Use your regular avenues of outreach to encourage all stakeholders in your area – employees, property owners, community group members, faith-based organizations, service clubs, chambers of commerce, customers, and visitors to register for and participate in the ShakeOut.

  • Use ShakeOut to prepare public employees: Personal and family preparedness are key to your employees’ availability to support city response and recovery efforts after a disaster. Use your regular avenues of employee outreach (staff meetings, paycheck enclosures, newsletters, e-mail) to include messages of preparedness.

  • Fund posters that can be placed in neighborhood businesses or local public spaces that promote your community as one that is prepared.

  • Put ShakeOut flyers at your public counters. 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.

Help your constituents prepare for earthquakes:

  • Encourage your Fire and Law Enforcement professionals to use ShakeOut to promote community preparedness.

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

  • Encourage neighbors to create and practice a neighborhood earthquake plan.

  • Host a community meeting and invite the Fire Department to demonstrate fire extinguisher use and explain earthquake safety practices.

  • Fund a preparedness booth with giveaways at pre-existing events in your community.

  • Be prepared for the possibility that your employees 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 employees or customers needed to remain in your facility for an extended length of time?

  • Does your city’s Emergency Operations Center 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 employees.

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

View ShakeOut Government Participation by County:

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


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