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K-12 Schools and Districts

Schools have many key roles during disasters, and when they are well prepared all Californians benefit. Also, by holding their earthquake drills on the same day, they inspire the participation of many other Californians.

Scroll down for basic instructions for how K-12 schools, districts, county offices and related organizations can plan their drill, tips for getting prepared, and suggestions for sharing the ShakeOut with others.

Other ways to participate:
Which schools are participating?



Between now and October 19:

  • Meet with your School Safety Committee to plan your drill. Plan to include everyone on campus in the drill. For people with disabilities or access and functional needs, download our earthquake safety tips (PDF).

  • ShakeOut Drill Planning Resources for Schools are available to support you in organizing simple to advanced earthquake drills (including manuals, checklists, take-home materials, phone scripts, and recordings to play during your drill).

  • ShakeOut Educational Resources have been organized for teachers to discuss earthquakes and preparedness in class. The page has many materials and suggestions for activities.

October 19, 10:19 a.m.:

  • Implement your drill along with thousands of other schools across California and worldwide.

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


There are many things schools and districts can do to evaluate and increase their earthquake preparedness before the ShakeOut.

Start by downloading a self-survey for your planning purposes to check your current level of preparedness and get ideas on how to better prepare your school or district for California’s next big quake.

Then review the School Preparedness Information page for steps to improve preparedness.

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!

Encourage your employees to get ready at home so they can remain at school with students, or return to school quickly: The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety is a good source for things individuals and families can do to prepare.

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

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.


  • Invite your students' parents to register their families to participate in the ShakeOut. Use Parent/PTA meetings to spread the word.

  • Record an auto-dial message to parents about your school's participation in the ShakeOut.

  • Display posters about ShakeOut in classrooms and offices on bulletin boards. Put ShakeOut flyers at your public counters. Include a flyer in paycheck envelopes, or an article in your school newsletter.

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

  • Hold a meeting among your parents and staff and share personal and family preparedness information and discuss what individuals and their families can do to ShakeOut. Have everyone register while at the meeting, especially those without internet access.

  • Design and host preparedness events to encourage your client community to join the ShakeOut and prepare for disasters. Create alliances with other organizations to make the event a bigger success.
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The Great California ShakeOut