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Take Part in the Great ShakeOut to Help Prepare for an Earthquake

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), “the National Earthquake Information Center now locates about 20,000 earthquakes around the globe each year, or approximately 55 per day.” USGS expects the United States will have about 16 major earthquakes per year – major defined as a magnitude of at least 7.0 on the Richter scale.

While states in the western and central regions of the country typically have the most earthquake activity, other states are not immune to the risk. For example, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck North Carolina in August 2020 and impacted several surrounding states.

Since earthquakes can happen anywhere with no warning, it’s important to know how to prepare and safely respond. Whether you’re at home, at work or traveling, participating in the Great ShakeOut can help you and your organization prepare for an earthquake.

The Great ShakeOut is an annual, international earthquake drill that takes place on the third Thursday in October. Sponsored by federal and state government agencies and private partners, this drill focuses on what to do when shaking begins: DROP, COVER and HOLD ON.

Prepare Your Organization’s Earthquake Response

The ShakeOut organization shares that most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are not caused by the ground shaking, but by collapsing structures and debris. In most situations, the chance of injury during an earthquake can be reduced if individuals:

  • DROP down onto their hands and knees
  • COVER their head and neck (and entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk
  • HOLD ON to their shelter until the shaking stops

Before an earthquake, identify places within your organization that provide sturdy shelter from collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. The ShakeOut recommends seeking safe places like:

  • Under a strong desk or table
  • Against an interior wall
  • In the corner of a room

Do not stand in a doorway or run outside, as this can increase the risk of injury.


To participate in this year’s Great ShakeOut, register your organization here.


Additional Earthquake Response Resources for Your Organization

ShakeOut Drill Manual for Non-Profits & Other Organizations

ShakeOut Resources for K-12 Schools & Districts

ShakeOut Resources for Healthcare Organizations

National Safety Council ­– Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake Country Alliance – Resources for People with Disabilities – Earthquakes

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – Earthquake Risk

American Red Cross – Earthquake Safety

© 2024 GuideOne Insurance. GuideOne® is the registered trademark of the GuideOne Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This material is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to give specific legal or risk management advice, nor are any suggested checklists or action plans intended to include or address all possible risk management exposures or solutions. You are encouraged to retain your own expert consultants and legal advisors in order to develop a risk management plan specific to your own activities.