Earthquake Drill Set for 10:16 on 10/16

UC Riverside will participate in statewide exercise with “drop, cover, hold on” response, building evacuations, information fair

A view of Southern California during the ShakeOut Scenario along the San Andreas Fault. Photo credit: USGS.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Are you ready to “drop, cover, and hold on” at 10:16 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, and join millions of Californians as they take part in a statewide earthquake drill? As in years past, the University of California, Riverside community will participate in the drill that is designed to prepare all Californians for the eventual Big One.  California is the highest risk state in the country for earthquake activity.

Called “the Great California ShakeOut,” the approximately two-minute-long exercise is voluntary. The university, however, is urging all students, faculty and staff to take part in the drill as a first response to a simulated magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas Fault.

“We live in earthquake country. The southern San Andreas Fault, which runs only a few miles from the UC Riverside campus, can produce earthquakes as large as magnitude 7.8,” said Abhijit Ghosh, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, who is helping organize the drill on campus and involved in putting together an earthquake information booth described below.  “Ground shaking due to this earthquake will cause fatalities, and significant damages to buildings and infrastructures.  But we can prepare for the inevitable. The Great ShakeOut prepares us for the impending Big One. Please spend a couple of minutes to participate in the Great ShakeOut on Oct 16. It can save your life.”

Image is a cartoon of the drop, cover, hold on procedure.

The “Drop, Cover, Hold On” drill is the best course of action during an earthquake.

The following is the schedule of ShakeOut campus activities for Wednesday, Oct. 15:

11 a.m.–2 p.m.: An earthquake information booth, hosted by the Department of Earth Sciences, will be located at the bell tower. Experts will be able to discuss the upcoming ShakeOut drill on Thursday, Oct. 16. Also featured will be earthquake preparedness tips, displays on historical earthquakes and their effects, demonstrations and educational activities on the science of earthquakes. There will be a demonstration of how earthquake faults operate; a simple seismograph that displays people’s jumps and stomps; a laptop-based seismograph network; and displays about recent earthquakes around the world.

The following is the schedule of ShakeOut campus activities for Thursday, Oct. 16:

10:16 a.m.: A campus-wide “drop, cover, and hold on” drill. A campus warning siren (it may not be audible inside buildings) will mark the start of the drill, and KUCR Radio will start playing a two-minute “drop, cover, and hold on” instructional walk-through clip. This will be followed by an evacuation of some buildings on campus at 10:20 a.m. Evacuees will assemble for approximately 10 minutes.

11 a.m.–2 p.m.: The earthquake information booth will again be located at the bell tower with experts able to answer any questions raised by the ShakeOut drill.  Also featured will be earthquake preparedness tips, displays on historical earthquakes and their effects, demonstrations and educational activities on the science of earthquakes. There will be a demonstration of how earthquake faults operate; a simple seismograph that displays people’s jumps and stomps; a laptop-based seismograph network; and displays about recent earthquakes around the world.

“Events like the Great California ShakeOut provide us with a timely and relevant opportunity to practice how to respond during an actual earthquake,” said Lisa Martin, campus continuity planner in UCR’s Environmental Health and Safety Department.  “The event increases our earthquake awareness, reminds all of us to have a plan, and strengthens our campus commitment towards emergency planning and preparedness.”

ShakeOut is held each year on the third Thursday of October.  For general information on the ShakeOut drill throughout Southern California, visit http://www.shakeout.org/california/. UCR is a core member of the Southern California Earthquake Center, one of the co-sponsors of ShakeOut.

What to do if you cannot easily duck and cover, such as in a lecture hall:

While it is impossible to come up with a solution for every possible situation, here are the basics that UCR’s experts suggest:

•        If you are walking or standing, drop down onto your hands and knees (before the earthquake knocks you down). This position protects you from falling but allows you to still move if necessary.
•         If possible, cover your head and neck (and your entire body if possible) under a sturdy table or desk. If there is no shelter nearby, get down near an interior wall (or next to low-lying furniture that won’t fall on you), and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
•         If you are in a lecture hall, stay in your seat or get underneath it if possible. Protect your head and neck with your arms. Improvise as necessary.
•         Hold on to your shelter (or to your head and neck) until the shaking stops. Be prepared to move with your shelter if the shaking shifts it around.
•         After the shaking stops, evacuate the building. Move toward the nearest exit, do not use elevators.
•         If applicable, secure hazardous material (if safe to do so) before leaving.
•         Do not re-enter the building until authorized by emergency personnel.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-6050
E-mail: iqbal@ucr.edu
Twitter: UCR_Sciencenews

Additional Contacts

Abhijit Ghosh
Tel: (951) 827-4493
E-mail: abhijit.ghosh@ucr.edu

Lisa Martin, Environmental Health & Safety
Tel: (951) 827-4255
E-mail: lisa.martin@ucr.edu

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