Earthquake Drill Set for 10:18 on 10/18

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

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.

RIVERSIDE, Calif.—Are you ready to drop, cover, and hold on at 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 18 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.

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.

“Such a powerful earthquake could devastate much of Southern California,” said David Oglesby, a professor of geophysics in the Department of Earth Sciences, who is helping organize the event. “Because we live in earthquake country, everyone at UC Riverside and in the surrounding community needs to know what to do when the ground starts shaking. We need to know that trying to run outside or going to an interior doorway are both dangerous actions. Instead, we should Drop, Cover, and Hold On until the shaking stops, and then carefully go outside to a location at a safe distance, away from debris that may fall from buildings.”

The following is the schedule of ShakeOut campus activities for Oct. 18:

10:18 a.m.: A campus-wide Drop, Cover, Hold On drill (the best course of action during an earthquake). A campus warning siren will mark the start of the drill and KUCR Radio will start playing a two-minute Drop, Cover, Hold On instructional walk-through clip. This will be followed by an evacuation of some buildings at 10:25 a.m. Evacuees will assemble on the East Lawn for approximately 10 minutes.

11 a.m.-2 p.m.: An earthquake information fair at the bell tower. Experts will answer questions raised by the ShakeOut drill. Also featured at the fair will be earthquake preparedness tips, displays on historical earthquakes and their effects, demonstrations and educational activities on the science of earthquakes.

Additionally, 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.

“UCR has taken part in every ShakeOut exercise since its inception,” said Paul Walker, the campus emergency manager and also an organizer of the campus drill. “If the recent earthquakes in Japan, Chile and on the east coast of the Unites States have shown us anything, it’s that earthquakes can happen anytime, and practically anywhere. I urge everyone to participate—even if they don’t live in California.”

California is the highest risk state in the country for earthquake activity. Last year, 8.6 million Californians joined in the ShakeOut, with almost 4 million more participating worldwide outside of California.

ShakeOut is held each year on the third Thursday of October.

“Regular earthquake drills are crucial, because we need to be able to take the correct action immediately, without having to think about it,” Oglesby said. “The yearly ShakeOut drill is the perfect time to practice.”

UCR is a core member of the Southern California Earthquake Center, which is one of the co-sponsors of ShakeOut.

For general information on the ShakeOut drill throughout Southern California, visit For information on UCR’s participation in the drill, visit

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6050
Twitter: UCR_Sciencenews

Additional Contacts

David Oglesby
Tel: (951) 827-2036

Lisa Martin, Environmental Health & Safety
Tel: (951) 827-4255

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