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The Great ShakeOut: Red Cross Says Practice Earthquake Safety on October 20

OKC family speaks with Red Cross volunteer


[FAIRFAX, VA. Tuesday, October 18, 2016 The Great ShakeOut is set for October 20 at 10:20 a.m., local time. It’s a day when millions of people all around the world will practice earthquake safety drills. The American Red Cross urges everyone across the country to take part in a drill and offers safety steps people can follow.

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.

“The Great ShakeOut takes place to encourage individuals, communities, schools and organizations to practice what to do in an earthquake and to update their emergency plans and supplies,” said Linda Mathes, CEO, National Capital Region. “We urge people to take part on October 20 and to make sure everyone in their household knows what to do if an earthquake occurs.” 

EARTHQUAKE SAFEY During an earthquake, drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible.

  • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
  • 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.
  • Fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
  • 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 a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
  • 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.

An earthquake safety checklist  and more tips on what to do before, during and after earthquake are available at Additional information on the Great ShakeOut is located at           

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for information about what to do to prepare for an earthquake and what to do if one occurs. 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 if severe weather or natural disasters occur.

Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or by going to