This year’s International ShakeOut Day is October 20, when millions of people worldwide will participate in earthquake drills at work, school, or home!

At 10:20 am (local time) on 10/20, you can join millions of people across Washington practicing earthquake safety. While we encourage you to participate with everyone, you can register your ShakeOut drill for any day of the year, and drill at a time of your choice. You can also include people in multiple locations through video conferencing.

Why is this important?

Washington is earthquake Country. After California, we have the 2nd-highest risk from earthquakes in the continental U.S. Our state also has more than 3,000 miles of coastline, all susceptible to tsunami hazards.

What do I do?

If you are able to, “Drop, Cover, and Hold on” is the best way to protect yourself from the immediate hazards of falling objects, the ground shaking beneath you, and other dangers from earthquakes. People with mobility disabilities can learn how to “Lock, Cover, and Hold on”. Practicing now (while there’s not an earthquake) will help ensure that you know how to protect yourself when an earthquake strikes. How to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” depends on where you are. Here is a video resource WA EMD’s Geohazards and Outreach team created to help you understand how to best protect yourself in a wide variety of situations where you might be when an earthquake occurs:

After the drill, “Do one more thing.”

After the drill is a great time to think about earthquake safety in the places you spend the most time: your workspace, your home, etc.  Taking the time to secure items now, will make injury and economic loss much less likely when an earthquake strikes. Think about securing shelves to the walls, installing latches on cabinets, moving heavy objects to lower shelves, many other steps. Consider doing a full “Home Hazard Hunt” when you have time!

For other examples of “One more thing” you can do, we recommend checking out the Prepare in a Year guide, which has 12 excellent examples of activities you could do on your own, or with your family/friends/coworkers, etc., available in 6 languages at


Earthquake safety - drop, cover, hold on

Earthquake Safety for Wheelchair users