Millions to Participate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

Great ShakeOut

On October 18 at 10:18 a.m. local time, many American Red Cross chapters will participate in the Great ShakeOut with more than 12 million people across the country and around the world. This worldwide earthquake drill is a great opportunity for people in homes, schools and organizations to practice preparedness.

Just this past Tuesday evening an earthquake occurred in southern Maine, shaking areas throughout New England. While earthquakes are rare in New England, they are not unheard of. With their unpredictable nature, the Red Cross encourages you to always be ready as earthquakes can occur during the day or at night, in any season of the year.

Twelve states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, British Columbia and Southern Italy will hold official ShakeOut drills in their respective state, territory or country. Additional individuals, communities and partners will also be able to participate in the drill, even if their state, territory, or country is not formally participating. Find your location at or if not officially listed, click “Other States and Countries” and register today!

Practicing Earthquake Preparedness

If you are inside when the shaking starts:

  • Drop, cover and hold on.
  • 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 it is safe to exit. Use stairs to exit the building rather than an elevator.
  • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
  • If you are outside when the shaking starts:

  • Find a clear spot away from buildings, power lines, trees and streetlights and drop to the ground 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.
  • 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.
  • Download the Earthquake App

    To help individuals participate in the Great ShakeOut, download the Red Cross Earthquake App.

    Features of the app include:

  • Earthquake epicenter location, impact magnitude and local geographical impact data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey;
  • Personalized push notifications, monitoring both magnitude and geography;
  • A “Shake Zone Impact Map” that provides real-time, simplified impact assessment when available;
  • Comprehensive reporting of all seismic activity for every geographic area in the United States;
  • Options to view the app in English or Spanish based on user handset settings;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters;
  • Simple steps and checklists people can use to create a family emergency plan;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Information on events that may happen after earthquakes such as fires and tsunamis;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.
  • This free app—available in English or Spanish—is the third in a series created by the American Red Cross, the nation’s leader in emergency preparedness, for use on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Earthquake App comes on the heels of the highly successful First Aid and Hurricane apps, which have more than 1.1 million users.

    The Earthquake App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. Go to for information on other Red Cross apps.

    Visit the Red Cross website, to learn more about earthquake preparedness.

    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 join our blog at

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