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How Girl Scouts 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 girl scouts 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!

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  • Have your troop leader Register your troop today to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more..

Between now and October 19:

  • Consider what may happen in a major earthquake and plan what your unit will do now to prepare, so that when it happens you will be able to recover quickly. Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On, at troop meetings throughout the months of February, March, and April.

  • Talk to other units in the district or the council office about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.

  • 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.:

  1. Drop, Cover, and Hold On:    Have everyone present 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 you are 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 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. (Optional) Practice what to do after the shaking stops.

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


Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety graphic

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

Things to do at a troop meeting or on your own:

  • Do a "hazard hunt" at your troop meeting place or home for items that might fall during earthquakes and secure them.

  • Encourage your school teachers to do a classroom inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and be damaged or cause injury and secure them.

  • With your troop, create a troop disaster preparedness plan.
    • Plan for your troop's specific needs (disabled, children)
    • Teach all troop members how to use a fire extinguisher
    • Create wallet cards for each troop member with essential contact information

  • With your family, develop a personal or family disaster preparedness plan.
    • Plan for your family's specific needs (seniors, disabled, children, pets)
    • Teach all household members how to use a fire extinguisher.
    • Create wallet cards for each family member with essential contact information.

  • Organize or refresh your emergency supply kits or generate an emergency supply kit list at a troop meeting to take home.
    • Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day, for at least 3 days and ideally for 2 weeks.
    • What else would you need to be on your own for this length of time?
    • What would you need if you are in your car, school, or troop meeting place when the earthquake strikes?

  • Create a game where everyone responds to a signal by practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On
  • Talk with your troop leader about what to expect during and after an earthquake.

The following are Girl Scout Badges that earthquake preparedness and education could count towards:

  • Daisy Girl Scouts -
    • Red Petal - "Courageous & Strong"
  • Brownie Girl Scouts -
    • Safety Sense
  • Junior Girl Scouts -
    • Safety First
    • Rocks Rock
  • Older Girl Scouts -
    • Emergency Preparedness
    • Outdoor Survival
    • Leadership


  • Host a ShakeOut Troop Party. Invite other troops over for cookies or ice cream and share preparedness information, exchange phone numbers, and create an inventory of special skills (search and rescue, first aid, equipment) and needs (elderly, children, pets, medication, etc.) in your community. Also, encourage everyone to register while there, especially those without internet access.

  • Ask local businesses and organizations to display posters about ShakeOut in their customer areas and on their employee bulletin boards, as well as to put ShakeOut flyers at your their public counters. You might also ask them to include an article in their newsletter and add a link to on their website.

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

  • Encourage your community, faith-based group, or school to register for the ShakeOut.

  • Design and post posters at your school and council about ShakeOut.

  • If you have a troop website, add a link to on your website; use one of several ShakeOut web banners.

  • Once your unit is registered, you will receive ShakeOut preparedness tips, event updates, and more. Forward these to your membership and ask them to register, and forward the e-mails to everyone who matters to them. With your help this can become the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history!
©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!