In addition to holding their own drills, ShakeOut participants also encouraged to join a Facebook Live event local to their region, known as “The Great Online ShakeOut.” This online, live broadcast will feature a drill for everyone to participate in, presentations from earthquake experts representing government, emergency management, and science, key videos and other resources, and a Q&A. Anyone can join this event, even without a Facebook account, just by visiting

  • Eastern US: 9:45 ET10:20 ET (at 10:15 ET, a ShakeOut drill).
  • Central US: 9:45 CT to 10:20 CT (at 10:15 CT, a ShakeOut drill).
  • Western US: 8:45 PT10:15 PT, with a ShakeOut drill at 9:15 PT / 10:15 MT and then again at 10:15 PT / 11:15 MT.

Also, Earthquake Warning California is coordinating a statewide test to coincide, for the first time, with ShakeOut on October 15. People who have downloaded the MyShake app to their phone will receive a TEST warning around 10:15 AM PT with guidance to Drop, Cover, and Hold On! Learn more at For general information about Earthquake Warning California, see

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ShakeOut participants are adapting their activities through video-conferencing, choosing staggered or alternative dates, and following local health and safety guidelines (see In a year of uncertainties and challenges, ShakeOut provides the opportunity to increase individual and community resilience. There is still time to join ShakeOut this year: register to participate on any day that works for you at Most take action on International ShakeOut Day each third Thursday of October, this year being October 15. At least 27.7 million people around the world are expected to take action on this day, including 11.7 million people from the United States and its territories. See for current totals.

ShakeOut organizers recommend people follow the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, which starts with Step 1: Secure Your Space. Most earthquake injuries are entirely preventable and are caused by the furniture and other objects that move or break when shaking occurs, resulting in trips, bruises, cuts, and more. Start now: move heavy objects down to lower shelves, relocate tall furniture away from entrances and exits, and secure cabinets with latches.

“We have come a long way since ShakeOut began in 2008,” said Mark Benthien, Global ShakeOut Coordinator and Outreach Director for the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. “More people have not only been practicing earthquake safety, but also securing furniture and objects around them, discussing safety plans, and even retrofitting their homes. For 2020, they are also adapting their drill plans because of COVID-19.”

Recommended earthquake safety actions for a variety of special situations (in a theater, in a car, etc.) and for people with disabilities are described at as text, graphics and videos. 

KEY MEDIA RESOURCES: – guidance for promoting and reporting on ShakeOut, lists of ShakeOut media venues, recent releases and contacts – B-Roll, still graphics, and animated GIFs to aid reporting on general preparedness and ShakeOut


Jason Ballmann
Southern California Earthquake Center
Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills
[email protected] is managed by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) at the University of Southern California, with funding from the National Science Foundation, United States Geological Survey, and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

SOURCE Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills

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