In an earthquake, your first response could save your life — The Great Washington ShakeOut drill is today

Drop Cover and Hold on

Federal, state, and local emergency managers experts and preparedness experts all agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes. Today (Thursday (October 17) at 10:17 a.m., DNR and other government agencies, along with schools, businesses and others are taking part in the 2013 Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill. This is an opportunity to learn and practice how to protect ourselves during earthquakes, including the Drop, Cover and Hold on response.

You cannot tell from the initial shaking if an earthquake will suddenly become intense… so always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!


  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!),
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to your shelter and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

If there is no table or desk near you, drop to the ground and then if possible move to an inside corner of the room. Be in a crawling position to protect your vital organs and be ready to move if necessary, and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.

Find more resources on the state Emergency Management Division website about preparing for — and surviving — an earthquake.