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Why Should You Participate?

While some areas of California are more likely to have earthquakes than others (see below), all of California is at higher risk compared to the rest of the country. You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes: at home, at work, at school, or even on vacation.

What we do now will determine our quality of life after our next big earthquake. Are you prepared to survive and recover quickly?

The Great California ShakeOut is an annual opportunity to practice how to be safer during big earthquakes: "Drop, Cover and Hold On." The ShakeOut has also been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.

Registration totals from Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills across the U.S. are also included in America's PrepareAthon! participation totals.

Learn more below, or read answers to frequently asked questions.

BENEFITS

Register today so that you or your organization will:

  • Be counted in the largest-ever earthquake drill in California!
  • Be listed with other participants in your area (Optional)
  • Be an example that motivates others to participate & prepare
  • Be updated with ShakeOut news and preparedness tips
  • Have peace of mind that you, your family, your co-workers and millions of others will be better prepared to survive and recover quickly from our next big earthquake!

EARTHQUAKE HAZARDS

Hazard Information for your ShakeOut Area:

Statewide Hazard Information

Designed for the original ShakeOut in 2008, the ShakeOut Scenario is a detailed picture of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas fault. The Scenario is also the basis of 2009 ShakeOut activities in Southern California, and is a product of the United States Geological Survey, Multi-Hazard Demonstration Project, led by Dr. Lucy Jones.

UCERF map

MyHazards
California Emergency Managment Agency
Use this website to discover the hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk!

Greater San Francisco Bay Area Fault and earthquake maps, shaking hazard maps, liqufaction maps, and other information
United States Geological Survey, Northern California

North Coast Earthquake and Tsunami information
Redwood Coast Tsunami Workgroup


UCERF map

Fault maps, historic earthquakes, how the ground is expected to shake, and much more
California Geological Survey (CGS)

Forecast of California Earthquakes
Southern California Earthquake Center, USGS, and CGS

Earthquake Shaking Potential Map of California (Dec. 2008)
California Geological Survey (CGS)


Shaking potential map

Maps of recent earthquakes, ShakeMaps for larger earthquakes, email notification, and more
California Integrated Seismic Network

Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards and Mitigation Information
California Emergency Management Agency



WHY DROP, Cover, and Hold On?


Learn about Drop, Cover, Hold On from MySafeLA.org

drop cover hold on

Why is it important to do a Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill? To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down--or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond.

  • If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On:
    • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
    • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
    Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings in California you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.

  • If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.

  • If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

Ground shaking during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the shaking.

Look around you now, before an earthquake. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly. An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris.

Further information:

Drop, Cover, and Hold On!


©2014 SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC
The Great California ShakeOut Step 1: Secure it now! Step 2: Make a plan Step 3: Make disaster kits Step 4: Is your place safe? Step 5: Drop, Cover, and Hold On Step 6: Check it out! Step 7: Communicate and recover!