Cal OES Reinforces Importance of Earthquake Preparedness with Annual ShakeOut Drill


Today, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) joined local, state and federal partners to remind Californians about the importance of earthquake preparedness with the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On across the state.

More than 9.6 million participants statewide practiced the drill at 10:20 a.m., demonstrating the right technique of finding a safe place to wait out an earthquake.

In addition, ShakeOut event organizers touted the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, which outline ways in which Californians can be prepared in advance of the next big quake, in addition to surviving and recovering from one.

“Living in a disaster-prone state such as California stresses the importance to hold events like the Great Shakeout Drill to remind Californians to be prepared in advance of the next earthquake or any disaster,” said Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci. “We thank all of our participants and partners across the state for their collaboration and spreading the word on preparedness.”

California’s earthquake warning system, known as Earthquake Warning California, uses the latest technology, including smartphone applications and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), to provide individuals with an earthquake warning as soon as shaking is detected by ground motion monitoring.

As part of Earthquake Warning California, the MyShake app is a free earthquake warning tool available in the Apple App store and Google Play to provide individuals with life-saving seconds of notification before shaking occurs. The MyShake app, which has nearly 2 million downloads since it was publicly launched in 2019, sends a warning to smartphone users in the nearby area that have installed the app as soon as seismic waves are detected and the data is processed.

“In 2008, the Earthquake Country Alliance organized the first Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill as a one-time event in Southern California,” said Mark Benthien, ECA’s Executive Director, based at the Southern California Earthquake Center. “We had no idea of how it would grow statewide, then across the country, and around the world. Now in its 15th year, ShakeOut continues to support earthquake safety and overall preparedness within schools, businesses, organizations, communities, and households.”

Worldwide, nearly 50 million people participated in ShakeOut, including 14 million people from the United States and its territories.

Prior to the ShakeOut drill, Cal OES hit the road for a six-city earthquake simulator tour around California, offering participants the opportunity to experience simulated shaking intensity caused by magnitude 7.0 earthquakes. The tour, which allowed visitors to ride in the earthquake simulator as well as receive important earthquake preparedness information, made stops in Sacramento, Menlo Park, San Luis Obispo, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and San Diego.