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Monday, September 27, 2021

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The Great Shakeout will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17. The Great Shakeout will take place on Thursday, Oct. 17.

SDSU to Participate in 12th Annual Great Shakeout

SDSU’s Office of Emergency Preparedness encourages all students, faculty and staff to participate.
By Kayli Singer

Do you know what to do during an earthquake? That’s right – Duck, Cover, Hold on! 

2019 marks the 12th year California will participate in the Great Shakeout to educate the public on earthquake awareness and emergency preparedness. It is the largest California statewide earthquake drill and will take place on Oct. 17. 

The Great Shakeout now extends through multiple states and includes countries outside the United States as part of International Shakeout Day, with more than 19 million participants worldwide and 9 million people participating in California. 

With three impactful fault lines in San Diego – the San Andreas Fault, Rose Canyon Fault, and the Newport-Inglewood Fault extending northward into Los Angeles – San Diego is prime earthquake territory. But it’s not just California, nearly every state in the United States is at moderate to high risk for earthquake activity. 

San Diego State University’s Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP), under the University Police Department, holds campus safety and emergency preparedness as its top priority and main goal. 

That is why at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17, SDSU students, faculty, and staff will receive an SDSUAlert informing them of the campus wide earthquake drill. The campus community is encouraged to participate in the drill and find a safe space to duck, cover, and hold on for two minutes. 

"SDSU's OEP is committed to ensuring all faculty, staff, and students are as prepared as possible for an emergency situation," said Kayli Singer, SDSU's Emergency Management Coordinator. "The Great Shakeout is a perfect time to remind everyone on campus what to do during an emergency and how they can prepare for one now."
The campus-wide drill will also take place at SDSU Imperial Valley.

Additional ways exist for participation in the Great California Shakeout:
  • Review with students and staff the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety, which includes preparing disaster kits and securing loose items in your space.
  • Remove or secure items in offices or classrooms that may fall and injure someone during an earthquake. 
  • Develop or review departmental emergency plans and business continuity plans. 
  • Check emergency supplies to make sure they are accessible and functional; order supplies as soon as possible where needed.
  • Register for SDSU Alert, which provides text and email notifications in the event of a campus-wide emergency. 
Campus emergency communications systems may also be tested, including campus email, the SDSU HomepageFacebook and Twitter. No mandatory evacuations of buildings will be ordered. 
For more information of the Great Shakeout and for resources on earthquake and emergency preparedness, visit the Great Shakeout’s website at

Earthquake information

Big earthquakes may last up to 11 minutes. If you are driving during an earthquake, pull over to the side of the road and set the emergency brake. If you are outside during an earthquake, seek a clear, safe place away from powerlines, trees, signs, and vehicles and then duck, cover, and hold on. For those with a wheelchair or walker usage, lock your device and protect your neck and head. 

Remember, the initial earthquake can trigger hours to days’ worth of aftershocks so always be prepared with an emergency kit. An emergency kit should contain important documents (consider utilizing a USB drive to store your digital documents), food, water and medical supplies including any personal medications. The best time to assemble your kit is not during an incident, but well before an emergency happens.