International Shake Out Day

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International Shake Out Day
International Shake Out Day

Annually occurring on the third Thursday of October, International ShakeOut Day is dedicated to promoting earthquake preparedness. Its main objective is to encourage individuals to practice the essential "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" drill in the event of an earthquake.

Moreover, the day serves as an educational platform to inform the public about safety measures during earthquakes and prompts individuals and organizations to revise and update their emergency plans and supplies.

History and Purpose

  • Origins: The first ShakeOut drill was held in Southern California in 2008, organized by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) and other partners.
  • Expansion: Since its inception, ShakeOut has grown into a global event, with participation from schools, businesses, government agencies, and individuals in various countries.
  • Purpose: The primary goal of ShakeOut is to educate and train people on how to protect themselves during an earthquake and to promote overall earthquake preparedness.

Key Components

  • Drills: Participants practice the "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" technique, which involves:

    1. Drop: Get down onto your hands and knees to prevent being knocked over.
    2. Cover: Take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, protecting your head and neck.
    3. Hold On: Hold on to your shelter until the shaking stops.
  • Education: ShakeOut events include educational campaigns about earthquake safety, preparation of emergency kits, creating family communication plans, and securing items in homes and workplaces to prevent injury during an earthquake.


  • Global Involvement: ShakeOut is observed in various regions including North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Countries such as the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and many others participate.
  • Registration: Individuals and organizations can register their participation on the official ShakeOut website. This helps organizers gauge participation and provides access to resources and updates.
  • Customized Drills: Organizations often customize their drills to fit their specific needs, such as incorporating building evacuations or business continuity plans.

Activities and Resources

  • Educational Materials: The ShakeOut website offers a wealth of resources, including posters, videos, drill manuals, and guides tailored for different types of participants (schools, businesses, families, etc.).
  • Social Media Campaigns: Social media is widely used to spread awareness, with participants encouraged to share their drill experiences and preparedness tips using hashtags like #ShakeOut.
  • Community Events: Many communities organize public events, such as preparedness fairs, seminars, and workshops in conjunction with ShakeOut drills.

Significance and Impact

  • Awareness: ShakeOut significantly raises awareness about earthquake risks and preparedness strategies.
  • Preparedness: Regular drills help individuals and organizations develop and refine their emergency response plans, making them more resilient in the event of an actual earthquake.
  • Community Building: The event fosters a sense of community as people come together to learn about and practice earthquake safety.

Tips for Earthquake Preparedness

  1. Prepare an Emergency Kit: Include essentials like water, food, medications, and first aid supplies.
  2. Create a Family Communication Plan: Ensure all family members know how to contact each other and where to meet if separated.
  3. Secure Your Space: Anchor heavy furniture, water heaters, and other items that could cause injury or damage during shaking.
  4. Know Your Environment: Identify safe spots to take cover in each room of your home, school, or workplace.
  5. Practice Regularly: Conduct regular drills to ensure everyone knows what to do and remains calm during an earthquake.

International ShakeOut Day is a critical event that emphasizes the importance of being prepared for earthquakes, helping to save lives and reduce injuries when natural disasters occur.