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The Great Southern California ShakeOut
The Great Southern California ShakeOut

What Medical Centers 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 Medical Centers 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 medical center 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 staff 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 medical centers 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  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 staff 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, and organize or participate in a local preparedness event.

Promote the ShakeOut:

  • Encourage your employees to register as individuals or families.

  • Display ShakeOut posters in customer areas and on employee bulletin boards. Put ShakeOut flyers at your public counters. Include a flyer in paycheck envelopes, or an article in your newsletter.

  • Organize a brown bag lunch with your employees to share personal and family preparedness information and discuss what individuals and their families can do to ShakeOut. Have everyone register while at the brown bag, especially those without internet access.

  • Encourage your vendors to register and participate in the ShakeOut. Their preparedness affects your organization’s preparedness.

Prepare for earthquakes:

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

  • Have each department do a facility inspection for non-structural items that might fall and be damaged or cause injury and secure them.

  • Identify hazards and special needs in each department.

  • Develop, review or exercise your business continuity plan with employees to identify and practice their responsibilities.
    • Create or review your employee contact lists and communication plan.
    • Locate utility shut off valves; make sure employees know the location, procedure and responsibilities.
    • Inventory special skills within your organization useful in a disaster (amateur radio operator, search and rescue, etc.)
    • 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 employees know the location and how to utilize supplies.

  • 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?
  • 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 employees.

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

View ShakeOut Medical Center Participation by County:

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


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