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The Great ShakeOut: Practice Earthquake Safety on October 19


Earthquakes strike suddenly, without warning and can occur at any time of the year, day or night. In the United States, 45 states and territories are at moderate to very high risk of earthquakes.

This year’s Great ShakeOut is scheduled for October 19 at 10:19 a.m., local time. It’s a time when millions of people all around the world will practice earthquake safety drills. The American Red Cross urges everyone across the country to practice what to do if an earthquake occurs.

EARTHQUAKE SAFEY TIPS During an earthquake, do not try to move around. Drop, cover and hold on. Try to protect your head and torso. If you are sitting at a desk or table, get under it. Otherwise drop wherever you are.

  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • If you are inside, stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. When it is, use stairs rather than the elevator in case there are aftershocks, power outages or other damage.
  • If you are outside, find a clear spot (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights) and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible. Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Then, drive carefully, avoiding bridges and ramps that may have been damaged.
  • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes or cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris. Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
  • DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to information about what to do to before, during and after an earthquake. The app also includes content on other disasters and emergencies, and provides locations of open Red Cross shelters.

    The Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App is a game designed for children between the ages of 7 and 11 to learn how to prevent emergencies and what to do during an earthquake, severe weather or other natural disasters.

    Both apps are available to download for free in app stores. Make sure everyone in your household knows what to do if an earthquake occurs.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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