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The Great California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

The Great California ShakeOut Drill Helps You Prepare for Earthquakes

What’s the best way to prepare for a major earthquake? Practice, practice, practice. On October 17, 2019 the Great ShakeOut drill is an opportunity for families, friends and businesses to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from devastating earthquakes—wherever you live, work, or travel.

You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake. So it is important to be prepared, know what to do and always have a plan. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects.

The ShakeOut drill reminds you to practice the basics of how to react should a major quake begin. Remember to Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Image: Drop, Cover and Hold On during an earthquake


Drop onto your hands and knees and stay low, as this keeps you from falling over in the swaying or being knocked over by debris.


Cover your head and neck with an arm and crawl under a sturdy shelter, away from windows.

Hold On

Hold on tight to whatever sturdy table or desk you’ve gotten under until the shaking ends.

Join the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill 

Every person who works, lives and plays in California can participate in the drill on October 17, 2019 at 10:17 a.m. Register your family, your school, business or community organization. By registering, you or your organization will have peace of mind that you, your family, your co-workers, your community and millions of others will be better prepared to survive and recover quickly from California’s next big earthquake.

Make a family plan. Learn about earthquake safety tips. Imagine a real earthquake and how you would react to it.

  • Practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On.
  • Identify a safe place in each room of your home away from windows and bookshelves.
  • Designate an out of state contact for family members to check in.

View earthquake safety videos to share with family, friends and co-workers.

Teach Your Kids to Prepare for Earthquakes

Involving children in earthquake safety can make a difference. Preschools and K-12 schools have already registered in the Great ShakeOut as have Girl Scout, Campfire and Boy Scout troops.

Great ShakeOut games and activities have been designed to engage children in the weeks before the October 17 event.

ShakeOut Resources

Learn about earthquake safety precautions and how to prepare your family and your home, before the next damaging earthquake strikes.

To help you plan for the Great ShakeOut drill, visit the resources developed for schools, colleges, government offices, businesses and non-profit organizations.

CEA Partners in Earthquake Safety

The Great California ShakeOut is organized by members of the Earthquake Country Alliance:

History of Great ShakeOut

This year marks the 12th anniversary of ShakeOut, which was first held in Southern California in 2008. The event began as a drill designed to educate the public on:

  • How to protect themselves during a large earthquake.
  • How to be better prepared when the next big earthquake strikes.

The 2008 Great Southern California ShakeOut was based on a potential magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the southern San Andreas Fault, approximately 5,000 times larger than the magnitude 5.4 earthquake that shook Southern California on July 29, 2008. Since then more than 10 million people have participated in the Great California ShakeOut drills annually.

Over 22 million people have registered for the 2019 Great ShakeOut on October 17.

Know Your Earthquake Risk

All of California is earthquake country. A 2015 study has forecast a 99.7% chance of one or more major earthquakes striking California in the coming years.*

With nearly 16,000 known faults, each region of the state holds earthquake risk. Most of us live within 30 miles of an active fault. Know your risk. Find out about faults in your area by visiting our fault and risk map by county.

Learn about Recent Earthquakes

The 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquakes were California's biggest quakes in more than 20 years. On Thursday, July 4th, at 10:33 a.m. PST a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck about 12 kilometers (10.5 miles) southwest of Searles Valley. Multiple aftershocks followed, and on Friday, July 5th, another earthquake struck with a magnitude of 7.1.

The July 5, 2019 magnitude 7.1 earthquake which ruptured the earth in the Mojave Desert unleashed the power of 45 nuclear bombs. The earthquake’s power was similar to the bomb that fell on Hiroshima.

Learn about California’s location on Circum-Pacific Belt known as “The Ring of Fire. National Geographic magazine describes it as a path along the Pacific Ocean marked by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. The majority of earth’s volcanoes and earthquakes take place along the Ring of Fire.

Prepare to Survive and Recover

When the 7.1 Ridgecrest quake hit July 5, 2019, several fires started and there were breaks in water mains. This came the day after the 6.4 quake affected the same area. Damage estimates for the Ridgecrest earthquakes top $1 billion according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

CEA’s affordable and flexible home earthquake policies:

  • Offer choices of coverage and deductibles.
  • Protect the investment in your home.
  • Provide you with peace of mind when, not if, the big one hits.

Whether you are a homeowner, mobilehome owner, condo-unit owner or renter, find out about how to buy the best choices in earthquake insurance. Many people think their regular homeowners insurance policy or renters insurance will cover earthquake damage—they don’t. Homeowners and renters need a separate earthquake policy to cover damages from an earthquake. Get started today with an estimate.

Don’t Wait to Protect Your Home. Get Started Now!

Speed your recovery from a major earthquake with CEA's affordable earthquake residential insurance. Without an earthquake policy, you will be responsible for the full cost to repair your home and replace your belongings after a major earthquake. Select deductibles ranging from 5%-25%. Find out if earthquake insurance is right for you with an estimate today.

Know all the Steps to Earthquake Readiness

Be prepared before, during, and after an earthquake by learning the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety.

*According to the third Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast (UCERF3) report.