Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

October 19, 2023 at 10:19 a.m.

On October 19 at 10:19 a.m., take two minutes to practice life-saving actions in case of an earthquake during the ShakeOut earthquake drill. You will be alerted via text and email when the drill begins. When you receive the notification, Drop, Cover and Hold On. For students who are in classes at Keck Science or the other Claremont Colleges at that time, please follow instructions from your instructor if and when appropriate. You can disregard the Pitzer alert at 10:19 a.m.

Classroom Instruction Guide

Thank you for playing your important role in learning how to stay safe during major earthquakes. This may be the first time you have ever participated in an earthquake drill and it may be the only opportunity to practice what to do to protect yourself (“Drop, Cover and Hold On”) before the next major earthquake.

  • Earthquakes are unpredictable and may happen where you live, work or travel.
  • Most injuries in earthquakes are from falling or flying objects.
  • Today we are joining millions of people worldwide who are practicing how to be safe during earthquakes.

What do to in different classrooms

  • Classroom or auditorium
    • Drop to the floor. Do not try to exit during shaking.
    • Cover your head and neck with one hand and seek shelter under your desk or table as best as possible.
    • If in an auditorium with no tables, take cover between the rows of chairs.
    • Hold on to the leg of the desk/table with your other hand.
  • Laboratory or other room with no tables/shelter
    • Step back from the lab table.
    • Drop to the floor on your knees next to a wall, away from glass and other hazards if possible.
    • Cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
    • Hold On to something sturdy during the shaking.
  • “Wait a Minute” after shaking stops. Look around for hazards, including behind you, before getting up. Carefully exit the building if instructed.

What to do during the drill

  • Once you receive the message that the drill has begun, Drop, Cover, and Hold On.
  • Drop to the ground, take cover under something sturdy to protect yourself and hold on. Or stay low and protect yourself from flying objects with your hands and arms.
  • Maintain the Drop, Cover, and Hold position until you receive the message stating the drill is over.
  • The entire drill will last 2 minutes

Topics for post-drill discussion

  1. If you were at home during an earthquake, what might fall on you? Can you move those items or secure them so they won’t cause injury?
  2. Do you always keep your cell phone and computer charged? If you have a car, do you always keep the gas tank at least half full?
  3. How would you contact your family in case of an emergency? Do you have an out-of-state contact established to receive messages from your family in the event local phone lines are busy?
  4. ATMs may be offline after a major earthquake. How long can you live on the money you have right now?

Learn more at and