“Drop, cover and hold on” — steps synonymous with earthquake preparedness — can reduce the risk of injury during a seismic event. Contingency plans for when a desk or table aren’t nearby are just as important. People with disabilities, as well as those with access and functional needs, are also encouraged to review what safety tips are available to them.

To help the UCLA community stay prepared, UCLA Emergency Management will join people around the world in the ShakeOut earthquake drill at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. Faculty, staff and students will have the chance to take part in the world’s largest earthquake drill from home, campus or wherever they may be.

Emergency managers, researchers and school safety advocates all agree that “drop, cover and hold on” and similar adaptations are the appropriate actions to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. Standing in a doorway, running outside and the “triangle of life” method — hunkering down next to a table rather than underneath — are considered dangerous and are NOT recommended. 

During the drill, those who are able are encouraged to:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees

  • This protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to nearby shelter.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

  • If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. 
  • If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). 
  • Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.

HOLD ON until shaking stops

  • Under shelter — hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts.
  • No shelter — hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

The goal of the ShakeOut is to give Bruins the opportunity to practice reacting safely and calmly to an emergency earthquake scenario, potentially preventing catastrophe.

To prepare yourself for earthquake activity before Oct. 20, download the MyShake app via the Apple App Store and Google Play. This global earthquake early-warning network uses your cellphone as a sensor, and helps keep you informed about earthquakes and more.

Members of the UCLA community are encouraged to update their Bruin Alert contact information and download the Bruins Safe App.