Prepare for Annual Earthquake Drill - Humboldt State Now

Prepare for Annual Earthquake Drill

The Great ShakeOut is coming. The Humboldt State community will join millions of people worldwide who have registered to take part in the earthquake drill at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Pastel art for the Great ShakeOut.
Geoscience students in the HSU Geology Department have been working with Sunny Brae Middle School students and the campus community to increase earthquake preparation awareness and participation in the Great ShakeOut. It’s an opportunity for this semester’s capstone students, who want to go into education to create and implement geoscience-based lesson plans.

On Oct. 20, the Sunny Brae 6th graders will come to HSU to see the campus seismograph, learn about rocks and minerals, and spend some time learning about earthquake safety. They will also participate in the Great ShakeOut on the Redwood Bowl.

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.


During the week of Oct. 17, 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. 20, those registered for the HSU Notifications text messaging system will receive a text on their phones around 10:20 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 at

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

More information is also available at the Humboldt Earthquake Education Center at or by dialing 707-826-6019.