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The Great Southern California ShakeOut
The Great Southern California ShakeOut

ShakeOut FAQ

Having trouble finding something? Here are a few of our frequently asked questions. Can't find it here? Contact us.


What do I have to do to participate in the ShakeOut? Where is the ShakeOut being held? What will happen on November 13?

    The ShakeOut Drill is scheduled for 10 AM on November 13, 2008. This means that wherever you are at that moment—at home, at work, at school, anywhere—you should Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment. There will not be any freeway closures, power outages, or other simulated effects of the hypothetical earthquake, unless your local government or utility company specifically notifies you about something of this nature. The ShakeOut is not something you need to leave work to participate in—in fact, participating at work is one of the best ways you can spread the word about the ShakeOut and earthquake preparedness in general.

    The main goal of the ShakeOut is to get southern Californians prepared for major earthquakes, so use the ShakeOut as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Visit for tips on how to prepare for and understand earthquakes and earthquake safety.

    Anyone in southern California can participate, from a single individual at their home to a major company at the office. Talk to your coworkers, neighbors and friends about the ShakeOut and encourage their participation.

    There are also other events involved in the ShakeOut, including the Get Ready Rally, November 14 at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles, which will celebrate southern Californians’ participation in the largest earthquake drill in U.S. History, as well as providing more information about how to prepare.

    Sign up for free at to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.

I’ve heard about alternate ways of staying safe during an earthquake, like the "Triangle of Life" concept. What should I do?

    The safest thing to do during an earthquake is "Drop, Cover, and Hold On," as described at This special report describes how the "Triangle of Life" is promoted with greatly exaggerated or wrong information, and is not a viable method for keeping safe in an earthquake.

I want to put up posters or other advertising relating to the ShakeOut. How can I order some?

    For posters, flyers, web banners, and other promotional items you can print or use, and for text of articles you may reprint in your newsletter or website, visit

Is an earthquake going to hit southern California in November?

    It’s not impossible, because California is a very seismically active region. However, the November 13 date refers to an earthquake drill, rather than a predicted earthquake. At this time, there is no way to predict earthquakes with this type of precision. However, it is important that southern Californians get prepared for an earthquake larger than anything we’ve ever experienced. A new study has forecast a 99.7% chance of an earthquake the size of the Northridge Earthquake or larger in the next 30 years.

Who can participate in the ShakeOut?

    Everyone! We want every person who works, lives, and plays in southern California to participate in the drill. You can register just your family or your school, business, or organization. The best way to ShakeOut is to personalize the experience for oneself. If you will be at work at 10 AM on November 13th, 2008, have your entire office plan what they would do in an earthquake, and then actually do this. If you are at school, have your class drill. Make a plan with your family. Designate an out-of-state contact. Simulate a real earthquake and how you would actually react to it!Check out and register with one of our four forms.

Can I volunteer to help with the ShakeOut?

    Yes, we will be looking for some volunteer help, though this will mostly be coordinated by the ShakeOut Regional Associates, which are being organized. If you are interested, please email and provide contact information that you would like to be passed on to a Regional Associate.

How can I teach my kids to prepare?

    Visit the ShakeOut guide for families. Teach your kids to Drop, Cover, and Hold On. You can also play the ‘Earthquake Game’ where when anyone says “earthquake!” everyone has to pretend an earthquake is happening and practice their response. Teach you children that they should go under a table and hold on if one is near. If they are in a room without a table, crouch against an interior wall, away from windows. Find an “earthquake-safe” location in every room of the house so they don’t try to run during an earthquake.

My company is interested in sponsoring the ShakeOut, where can I learn about sponsorship opportunities?

    Please visit and fill out an application. We have 6 different sponsorship levels as well as an “A la Carte” menu for sponsors.

Which cities are participating in the ShakeOut?

    The ShakeOut is for everyone in southern California, regardless of where they live. Soon, a group of ShakeOut Regional Associates will be ready to help organize the ShakeOut for local areas in their assigned counties.

Will you be utilizing ham radio? At what frequency will you be broadcasting?

    If you are in the ham radio community, the real question is, what will YOU be doing? What can you organize for your community? We ask that everyone interested in participating in the ShakeOut use every tool available to them to get the word out about earthquake safety and to take the steps they would take during an earthquake as a part of the drill.

I want to reprint information found on the ShakeOut website. May I do this?

    Yes, you may. However, we do ask that you send us what you’re interested in reprinting if you are interested in republishing information to a large audience, so that we can make sure that nothing is taken out of context or misrepresented.

I haven’t received anything about the ShakeOut. Am I registered?

    Unfortunately you may not have received information because your email software may consider the ShakeOut emails to be "spam" and block your receiving them. The emails may be in your "junk" folder. Look for emails from ""

What about our pets and other animals?

Who may I call for an interview?

    Please contact Mark Benthien; or 213-740-0323, with your name, publication, deadline (if applicable) and a brief description of your article.

I’d like a copy of Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country. Where can I order?

© 2008 Southern California Earthquake Center @