Drop, Cover and Hold: The Great California Shakeout - Humboldt State Now

Drop, Cover and Hold: The Great California Shakeout

Get ready for the Great Shakeout. The Humboldt State community will join millions of people worldwide who have registered to take part in the earthquake drill at *10:19 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19.*

Geology Professor Amanda Admire and students will give presentations beginning at 10 a.m. in Student & Business Services 179 about the science of earthquakes and lead a “Drop, Cover and Hold” exercise. Representatives from the American Red Cross will also give a presentation on preparedness. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register for the course by visiting this link, and students can register by emailing eoc@humboldt.edu.

The annual drill is designed to bring awareness to the steps everyone can take to increase their preparedness, stay safe, and recover during the next big event.

Videos prepared by HSU Geology Professor Emerita Lori Dengler about exactly what to do, are available here. This emergency management website also has good summaries about how to respond in many other types of emergency.

The Shakeout comes during HSU’s Safety Week, a series of trainings ranging from CPR and first aid to fire extinguisher use and ergonomics. Follow this link for the full course schedule.


During the week of Oct. 16, the Campus Emergency Public Address System will undergo maintenance and you may hear audible tests during this time.

On the day of the ShakeOut, Oct. 19, those registered for the HSU Notifications text messaging system will receive a text on their phones around 10:19 a.m.

At that time, we should all drop to the ground or floor, cover ourselves by getting under a table or desk (or if outside protect your head with an arm), and hold on for 60 seconds. Drop, cover, and hold.

Sign up to receive campus text messages about emergencies and safety. Use the personal information pagelet in myHumboldt and under “emergency contacts” add an “emergency text message number.”

Living on Shaky Ground

According to Living on Shaky Ground (PDF), a free earthquake and tsunami readiness guide published by Humboldt State University, nearly 40 earthquakes of magnitude 6 or larger have affected Northern California in the past 150 years. Most of these earthquakes were centered on faults nearby. But very large earthquakes located elsewhere in the Pacific basin, like the 1964 magnitude 9.2 Alaska earthquake, can generate tsunamis that threaten our coast. The North Coast is the most tsunami-prone area of the continental United States.

The safest thing to do during an earthquake is “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” as described here.

For more information, tips, and resources for earthquake preparedness, safety, and recovery visit the Shakeout website at shakeout.org. Online registration for the drill is available here. There are materials for nonprofits, schools, businesses, healthcare providers and other organizations.

More information is also available at the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center at humboldt.edu/shakyground or by calling 707.826.6019.