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Volunteer Radio Groups

Californians must get better prepared before the next big earthquake, and practice how to protect ourselves when it happens. The purpose of the ShakeOut is to help people and organizations do both.

Scroll down for basic instructions for how Amateur radio operators, ARES, MARS, RACES, REACT, and other organizations, etc., and their members, can plan their drill, tips for getting prepared, and suggestions for sharing the ShakeOut with others. With your participation, this may be the largest earthquake drill ever!

Other ways to participate:
Which Radio Groups
are participating?


Il Sorrento Mobile Home Park in Moreno Valley is a 55+ community of approximately 300 residents. 22 members are CERT trained, and many others have had First Aid, CPR, and other training. In 2008 they had 32 Block Captains report the status of their 233 residences, and have already taken steps to improve their readiness, knowing that they will be on their own for several days.



  • Register your group to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more. Encourage all members to register their families.

Between now and October 20:

  • Consider what may happen in a major earthquake and plan what your group will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly.

  • Talk to other radio groups about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.

  • Meet with your members and colleagues to plan your drill according to your existing procedures or by using one of the four levels of sample drills in the ShakeOut Drill Manual for Non Profits and Other Organizations (PDF). Plan an emergency communications drill to test your groups abilities to provide communications support in a disaster.

  • Download audio and video "drill broadcast" recordings to play during your drill (Video versions have text captions).

October 20, 10:20 a.m.:

  1. Drop, Cover, and Hold On:   Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds). Practice now so you will immediately protect yourself during earthquakes! (See this page for what to do if outside, driving, in a tall building, or other situations.)For people with disabilities or access and functional needs, download our preparedness guide (661 KB) PDF.

  2. While still under the table, or wherever you are, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. 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. Next test your communication infrastructure and conduct an emergency communications drill

  4. Finally, practice what else your group will do after the shaking stops.

  5. After your drill is complete, have discussions about what was learned and incorporate these lessons into your disaster plan.


Seven Steps

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

  • Visit MyHazards (California Governor's Office of Emergency Services) to discover the hazards that exist in your area and learn how to reduce YOUR risk!

  • Help your members and their families to get prepared. More information is in the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety.

  • Test alliances and MOU’s with your critical partners, community leaders and sponsoring organizations.

  • Participate in a CERT training course.

  • Members should check and test their emergency equipment - fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, generator, fuel, etc.


  • Encourage your members to register as individuals or families.

  • Tell everyone to watch "Preparedness Now", a compelling film that depicts what will happen in a "big one," and other videos.

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

  • Organize a ShakeOut Party. Invite local members or other for coffee and share personal and family preparedness information and discuss what individuals and their families can do to ShakeOut. Have a computer so everyone can register while there, especially those without internet access.

  • Once you are registered, you will receive ShakeOut preparedness tips, event updates, and more. Forward these to your membership and ask them to forward the e-mails to everyone who matters to them. With your help this can become the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history!
© 2022 Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), headquartered at the University of Southern California (USC)
The Great California ShakeOut