The Great ShakeOut is the world’s largest Earthquake drill! Each year, on the third Thursday in October (this year it’s October 21st), participants all over the world use this opportunity to practice what they would do in case an earthquake occurred suddenly: Drop, Cover, and Hold On!
Why Drop, Cover, and Hold On?
Why is it important to do a Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill? To react quickly you must practice often. You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake, before strong shaking knocks you down--or drops something on you. Practicing helps you be ready to respond.
-If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On:
- DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
- HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
-Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
-If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.
-If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
Ground shaking during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the shaking.
Look around you now, before an earthquake. Identify safe places such as under a sturdy piece of furniture or against an interior wall in your home, office or school so that when the shaking starts you can respond quickly. An immediate response to move to the safe place can save lives. And that safe place should be within a few steps to avoid injury from flying debris.
Most participate in ShakeOut by registering to practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” and many do much more. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants are adapting their ShakeOut activities through video-conferencing, choosing staggered or alternative dates, and following local health and safety guidelines (see ShakeOut.org/covid19).
There is still time to join ShakeOut this year: register to participate on any day that works for you at ShakeOut.org. Most will participate on International ShakeOut Day, October 21st, but you decide when, how, and where you want do it, and with whom.