Skip to content

How Childcare and Pre-Schools Can Participate

We all 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 childcare providers and pre-schools 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 in the Central U.S. ever!

Not Childcare/Preschool?
Which Childcare/Preschools
are participating?

SHAKEOUT SPOTLIGHT


Escondido Christian School

Most of the children at Escondido Christian School in California were at the normally scheduled recess at the time of the ShakeOut drill. When they heard the sound of the "Earthquake" played on their PA, they all moved away from buildings, and dropped to the ground. When the shaking stopped everyone evacuated, just as they have practiced during regular fire drills. Every class was checked and everyone was accounted for.

PLAN YOUR DRILL

Today:

  • Register your organization or school to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, to get email updates, and more..

Between now and October 19:

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

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

  • Plan your drill using one of the four levels of sample drills in the ShakeOut Drill Manual for Schools (PDF).

  • Download the Audio and Video "Drill Broadcast" recordings that have been created to provide instructions during your drill (Video versions have text captions). Review the recording in advance to determine if it is appropriate for your children.

  • Download Audio and Video "Drill Broadcast" recordings that have been created to provide instructions during your drill (Video versions have text captions).

October 19, 2017, 10:19 a.m.:

  • Conduct your drill. If you did not choose a drill from the ShakeOut Drill Manual for Schools, then follow these simple steps:

    1. Drop, Cover, and Hold On:    Have your children, staff, and others present at the time 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 they will immediately protect themselves during earthquakes! (See this page for what to do if outside, driving, in a tall building, or other situations. Also, for people who can not drop to the ground, see our ShakeOut Drill Manual for People with Disabilities or Mobility Impairments.)

    2. While still under the table, or wherever they are, have them look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What would fall on them or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like after? What will your organization do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?

    3. (Optional) Practice what your staff will do after the shaking stops.

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

GET PREPARED

There are many things childcare providers and pre-schools 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 our next big quake.

  • Encourage your staff and families to get prepared. More information is in the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety.


  • Do a facility inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and be damaged or cause injury and secure them.

  • Organize or refresh your emergency equipment - fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, crank radios, satellite phones, generator, fuel; make sure staff know the location and how to utilize supplies.

  • Be prepared for the possibility that your employees and possibly even children may need to remain in place for 2 – 3 days.
    • Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
    • What other supplies might you need if transportation routes were blocked and staff or students needed to remain in your facility for an extended length of time?
  • Identify any structural weaknesses in your building: ask a local earthquake retrofitting contractor for a structural inspection, and develop a plan to address any issues. If you rent your facility, ask the building owner about the state of the building.

SHARE THE SHAKEOUT

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

  • If available, record an auto-dial message to parents about your facility's or school's participation in the ShakeOut. Use or modify our sample phone script (English and Spanish)

  • 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.
©2017 SCEC Southern California Earthquake Center @ USC
The Great Central U.S. 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!