Record 9+ Million to Participate in Statewide Earthquake Drill, Set for Thursday, Oct. 18 at 10:18 a.m.

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California Radio Stations to Air Drill Broadcast - Media Events Planned Statewide

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Knowing the proper action to take during an earthquake is critical because it can mean the difference between life and death.

A record 9+ million people are registered to take part in the fifth annual Great California ShakeOut on October 18, 2012 at 10:18 a.m. The ShakeOut is a statewide earthquake drill in which participants simultaneously practice the recommended action to take during an earthquake, known as “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”, which means:

  •     DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
  •     Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table for protection from falling objects.
  •     HOLD ON to your cover until the shaking stops to ensure you remain protected.

More than 50 radio stations throughout California will air the 60-second ShakeOut “Drill Broadcast” featuring earthquake sounds and critical immediate action safety instructions, for participants to listen to during their drills. The list of participating stations is at

Major media events will be held at Union Station in Los Angeles, Union Square in San Francisco, and Amtrak Station in San Diego, emphasizing transportation system safety measures relating to earthquakes. Details on these and other ShakeOut events and activities are updated regularly at

Interested citizens, schools, communities, businesses, etc. are encouraged to visit, select the appropriate ShakeOut location, and pledge their participation in the drill. Resources available on the website for participants to use to plan their drills include drill manuals, videos, audio drill broadcasts, earthquake scenarios, and more. Information is also provided for how to be prepared to survive and recover from one of nature’s most sudden, violent, and potentially destructive events.

Public participation is strongly encouraged by national, state and authorities concerned with disaster preparedness. In a joint statement U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano stressed that “All schools, organizations, and households play a critical role in helping our Nation become better prepared for any disaster or emergency. Participating in ShakeOut and other drills (and encouraging others to join you!) is a great way for your whole community to promote emergency preparedness.”

“I’m pleased that millions of Californians will participate in this year’s Great California ShakeOut,” said CAL EMA Secretary Mark Ghilarducci. “Knowing the proper action to take during an earthquake is critical because it can mean the difference between life and death. I urge every government agency, business and Californian to register for and participate in Thursday’s ShakeOut.”

“All California schools, which have a key role in community awareness, have been urged to participate. It is important that our young people and their families know how to immediately respond when the shaking starts,” stated Tom Torlakson, California State Superintendent of Schools.

ShakeOut was started in California in 2008, and participation in the annual event has nearly doubled since then. Based on this success, the program has expanded both nationwide and internationally. “ShakeOut drills have been quickly embraced in other earthquake-prone areas,” according to Earthquake Country Alliance (ECA) Executive Director Mark Benthien.

Great ShakeOut drills are being held on October 18 in Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, British Columbia, and U.S. Navy Bases in Southern Italy. People in any other state or country can also now register at and be included in the global total. Earlier this year ShakeOut drills were held in nine Central U.S. states, Utah. Japan, and New Zealand.

“The total number of ShakeOut participants worldwide in 2012 will be more than 17.5 million, ” Benthien noted., adding “That makes ShakeOut the largest coordinated safety drill ever held.”

The Great California ShakeOut is organized by the ECA, a statewide public-private-community partnership. ECA links together public education efforts of organizations that provide earthquake information and services. In addition to the ShakeOut, the ECA provides information and resources at and coordinates local activities year-round through regional alliances in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and the Redwood Coast.

ECA members include: scientists and engineers; non-profit organization and business leaders; community groups and activists; federal, state, and local government leaders and agencies; and others who are committed to an earthquake and tsunami resilient California. Major organizations involved include California Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, California Earthquake Authority, American Red Cross, and the Southern California Earthquake Center, which administers the ECA from its headquarters at the University of Southern California.

For more information on the ShakeOut or how to participate in the drill, visit

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D'Anne Ousley
California Earthquake Authority
(916) 325-3845
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