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FEMA Encourages Participation in Oct 15 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills

Release date: 
October 9, 2015
Release Number: 

Washington D.C. - More than 40 U.S. states have some potential for earthquakes. To increase earthquake preparedness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages all Americans to participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill happening on Thursday, October 15, at 10:15 a.m. local time.

“Residents in California aren’t the only ones threatened by the potential of a catastrophic earthquake,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “From the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest to the New Madrid seismic zone in the South and Midwest, millions of Americans live and travel to areas that can be impacted by a major earthquake. All of us – regardless of where we live – should be prepared by knowing what to do: drop, cover, and hold on.”

In most situations during an earthquake, one would drop to the ground, take cover under a nearby sturdy table or desk, and hold on to it until the shaking stops. People who have mobility disabilities and are unable to drop, should still cover and hold on. If seated they should cover their head and neck with their arms or a pillow until the shaking stops. Individuals who use wheelchairs should lock their wheels, and cover and avoid transferring from their wheelchair until the shaking stops.

More than 20 million people worldwide are registered to participate in next Thursday’s Great Shakeout drill. Anyone can register their involvement and learn how to participate at

FEMA supports Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills as part of America’s PrepareAthon!, a community-based campaign that asks everyone to take an action—such as a group discussion or disaster drill—to increase their preparedness. Information on America’s PrepareAthon! is available at

Additional tips for preparing for earthquakes are also available at


The Great ShakeOut is an annual public earthquake drill coordinated and supported by the Southern California Earthquake Center and the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP). NEHRP is a partnership of the United States Geological Survey, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Ready Campaign advocates four universal building blocks of preparedness—Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved—and continues to raise awareness about the importance of preparing. The goal of the campaign is to get the public involved and ultimately to increase the level of basic preparedness across the nation.

America’s PrepareAthon! was established to provide a comprehensive campaign to build and sustain national preparedness as directed by Presidential Policy Directive-8. The campaign is coordinated by FEMA in collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations.

Last Updated: 
March 29, 2016 - 20:05
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