The Great Washington Shake Out

Many areas of the globe are prone to earthquakes.  You could be anywhere when an earthquake strikes - at home, at work, at school, or even on vacation. Are you prepared to survive and to recovery quickly?

Great Shake Out earthquake drills are an opportunity to practice how to be safer during earthquakes. Shake Out has been organized to encourage you, your community, your school, or your organization to upgrade emergency plans and supplies, and to secure your space in order to prevent damage and injuries.

Protect Yourself During an Earthquake

What and when is ShakeOut? How do I / we participate?

At a minimum, ShakeOut is a one-minute earthquake drill - you decide when, how, and where you want do it, and with whom.  
International ShakeOut Day is every third Thursday of October, when most schedule their ShakeOut drills and other earthquake preparedness activities. This annual date was selected back in 2009, when most schools agreed this was the best time. In 2020, International ShakeOut Day is October 15. Everyone, everywhere should know how to protect themselves during an earthquake! Thus, anyone can participate - ShakeOut is for everyone.

You or your organization, however, may hold your ShakeOut drill on another day of the year that you find most convenient. This means that wherever you are at the date and time you designate—at home, at work, at school, anywhere—at the very least you should practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for one minute (or more, as you see fit).
You can always do much more for your ShakeOut, such as a response or tabletop exercise, communications test, or activity in which you secure items that could fall or fly in a real earthquake. Learn more:
The main goal of the ShakeOut is to get the world prepared for earthquakes, so use the ShakeOut as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake.
 Everyone, everywhere should participate, from an individual in their home (or even car!) to a school and even a major corporate office. Talk to your friends, family, and co-workers about the ShakeOut and encourage their participation.
Register for free at to be counted and listed in your community, get email updates, and have the peace of mind knowing you can deal with any earthquake in our future.

How do I protect myself in an earthquake? I have heard about Drop, Cover, and Hold On, but what happened to the "Doorframe" or "Triangle of Life" theory? Why shouldn't I run outside?

The safest thing to do during an earthquake is "Drop, Cover, and Hold On". This special report describes how the "Triangle of Life" is promoted with greatly exaggerated or wrong information, and is potentially very dangerous. Running outside or getting into a doorway is not recommended as objects that are falling and flying can injure you , even cause you to trip and fall, as you move and are upright.

Do you have audio or video to help guide our ShakeOut drill?

Yes! Please see for versions you can download in English and Spanish (audio and video).

How do I register for ShakeOut? Why should I?

Register for free at to be counted and listed in your community, get email updates, and have the peace of mind knowing you can deal with any earthquake in our future.

When an Earthquake strikes...

When an earthquake strikes, will you know what to do? Learn how to protect yourself.