Skip to content

Preparedness Organizations

Washingtonians 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 preparedness organizations (Red Cross chapters, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Citizen Corps, Volunteer fire departments, Neighborhood Watch groups, 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 in Washington ever!

Other ways to participate:
Which Preparedness
Organizations are participating?


Il Sorrento Mobile Home Park in Moreno Valley, California 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 organization to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more. Encourage your staff to register their families.

Between now and October 20:

  • Consider what may happen in a major earthquake and plan what your team will do now to prepare, 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.
  • Download and review the ShakeOut preparedness guide (PDF) for people with disabilities or access and functional needs.

  • Plan your drill using one of the four levels of sample drills in the ShakeOut Drill Manual for Non Profits and Other Organizations (PDF).

  • Download Audio and Video "Drill Broadcast" recordings that have been created in English and Spanish to provide instructions 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.)

  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 your organization will 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.


What we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like afterwards. The following are recommendations for what your organization can do now to prepare.

  • Learn about the earthquake risk in your area.

  • Create plan to go door-to-door to educate your community on emergency preparedness.

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

  • Promote first responder and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for your members.

  • Check and test your organization's 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.

  • Provide non-English speaking community members with written preparedness information in their language.


  • Encourage your staff, clients, and others to register as individuals or families.

  • Ask neighborhood businesses to display posters about ShakeOut in their windows and flyers at their counters.

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

  • 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 Washington history!
© 2022 Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), headquartered at the University of Southern California (USC)
The Great Washington ShakeOut