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Drop, Cover and Hold On: Join the Annual Great ShakeOut Drill

Release Date Release Number
R4-2021-NR-014
Release Date:
October 21, 2021

ATLANTA – The annual Great ShakeOut earthquake drill will take place Thursday, Oct. 21 at 10:21 a.m. local time. FEMA Region 4 encourages individuals and communities to participate and practice the simple safety steps to stay safe during an earthquake.

Earthquakes can happen anywhere, anytime. In September a 3.3-magnitude earthquake struck near North Charleston, South Carolina, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Recently, minor earthquakes were recorded in northeast Georgia and near the Georgia-South Carolina line as well.

During the self-led earthquake drill, millions of people will practice how to drop, cover and hold on. For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety action is to:

  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees, if possible (or make necessary accommodations.) Make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing if you are participating with others outside your household.
  • 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 ShakeOut is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate at www.shakeout.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

In 2020, more than 29 million people participated in ShakeOut drills nationwide.

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Last updated October 20, 2021