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ShakeOut Drill Planning Resources

The following materials are resources for administrators to develop plans for their school or district's ShakeOut drill this October.

Drill Manual for K-12 Schools
ShakeOut Drill
Manual for
K-12 Schools


This document describes four levels of drills; pick the drill level that makes the most sense for your school or district. Each level builds upon the other and increases in complexity. Schools or districts that have been successful with a lower level should consider doing a more advanced drill during the ShakeOut.

  • Level 1 – Simple: Drop, Cover, and Hold On Drill and Building Evacuation
  • Level 2 – Basic: Life Safety Drill
  • Level 3 – Intermediate: Decision-Making Table TopDrill
  • Level 4 – Advanced: School Standard Emergency Management Simulation Drill

Drill Model and Templates
School Drill Model
and Templates


Excerpt: Download 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, as part of your ShakeOut Drill activities.

If you are planning to conduct a Level 3 or Level 4 drill, this document provides the following: model preparedness surveys, letters to parents, memos to faculty and staff, preparation and supply guidelines, model emergency response roles and responsibilities, drill evaluation forms and more. These model documents may serve as a helpful guide for schools and districts which do not already have standardized forms.

Additional resources:

Safety recommendations for various situations, ShakeOut posters and flyers, messaging resources, videos, and much more.

Audio and Video "Drill Broadcast" recordings have been created to provide instructions during your Drop, Cover, Hold On drill.

Sample phone script for auto-dial messages to parents (English and Spanish)

Take-Home Letter (English) to inform parents about the ShakeOut Drill

Take-Home Letter (Spanish) to inform parents about the ShakeOut Drill

Comprehensive School Emergency Planning Resources, including sample drill documents, developed by LAUSD

5 Ways to Support Your Districts, a guide for how you as a County Office of Education can get your districts to participate!

FEMA Drop, Cover, Hold On Poster
FEMA "Drop, Cover,
and Hold" Poster


This poster is available in multiple languages here.

©2020 SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC
The Great California ShakeOut