The UCLA Office of Emergency Management is asking students, faculty and staff to “drop, cover and hold on” on Thursday, Oct. 19, during the annual “Great ShakeOut,” the world’s largest virtual earthquake drill.

During the minute-long event — which will begin at 10:19 a.m. — you should practice reacting safely and calmly to an emergency earthquake scenario, allowing you to be better prepared to respond in the event of a major earthquake and potentially preventing catastrophe. In most situtations, you will reduce your chance of injury if you:

  • DROP where you are onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter nearby.
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it. If a table or desk is not available, crawl to an interior wall, away from windows. Stay on your knees and bend over to protect your vital organs.
  • HOLD ON until shaking stops. Grab your shelter with your free hand and be ready to move with it if it shifts; if you don't have shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

The Great ShakeOut drill will also allow for testing of UCLA’s emergency communications systems, said Lisa Martin, director of the Office of Emergency Management.

“With each exercise, Emergency Management has the opportunity to improve upon our preparedness and response,” she said. “For drill participants, it gives a practical look at the experience of a real earthquake emergency. Thinking through an action plan in advance helps you stay calmer and more focused when the real thing occurs.”

October marks Bruin Earthquake Awareness Month, a time when Emergency Management staff will be participating in outreach efforts and sharing important information related to earthquake preparedness and safety.

How to prepare for the ShakeOut

To prepare for the exercise, download MyShake, a global earthquake early-warning alert app, via the Apple Store or Google Play. Bruins are also encouraged to update their BruinAlert contact information and download the Bruins Safe App, also found via the Apple Store and Google Play.

A link to the drill (in both English and Spanish) is posted on the Office of Emergency Management ShakeOut website and will be shared via a campuswide BruinPost email the week of Oct. 16.