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Millions Will "ShakeOut" on Thursday

Release date: 
October 17, 2017
Release Number: 

ATLANTA– This Thursday, October 19, at 10:19 a.m., more than 4.26 million people across 23 states will take part in the Great Central US and Southeast US ShakeOut Earthquake Drills.  These regional ShakeOut drills are part of an international effort to simultaneously practice how to stay safe during an earthquake.

Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is a self-led drill where participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety actions are to:

  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees; 
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
  • HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).

The recent M7.1 earthquake that struck near Mexico City serves as a reminder that large, damaging earthquakes occur with little or no warning. The southeast and mid-Atlantic states are not immune to earthquakes—the August 2011 M5.8 earthquake in Virginia was felt by an estimated 100 million people and caused approximately $150 million in damage and economic loss.

The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public. Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, register to participate at Once registered, you’ll receive regular information on how to plan your drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

The Great Central U.S. and Southeast U.S. ShakeOut is being coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners. ShakeOut is coordinated globally by the Southern California Earthquake Center in Los Angeles, California.


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:59