Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills, regionally organized campaigns linked together as a worldwide preparedness movement spanning 60+ countries, are involving more than 52 million people (and counting) in earthquake safety activities throughout 2017.

Most participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” though many choose to do much more. ShakeOut organizers recommend people follow the Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety to get fully prepared to survive and recover from the next damaging earthquake.

Significant earthquakes in 2017 that serve as devastating reminders for the importance of improving earthquake safety include the two large Mexico earthquakes of September, both of which caused many casualties and property loss. Additionally, these earthquakes highlight how difficult recovery is, and that it is not just the shaking we have to be worried but our quality of life afterward. Hurricanes and wildfires in recent months also indicate that natural disasters are something that we must continue to deal with together and improve our efforts.

“ShakeOut encourages cross-sector, whole community conversation and action about earthquake preparedness, inspiring people to make better decisions for how they can prepare to survive and recover,” said Mark Benthien, Global ShakeOut Coordinator and Outreach Director for the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California. “Social science research shows that when people see others take action, they are more likely to take action too.”

Recommended actions for a variety of special situations (in a theater, in a car, etc.) and for people with disabilities are described at www.EarthquakeCountry.org/step5 in the form of text, graphics, and videos, for a variety of learners.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long encourages everyone to participate. “Practicing these protective actions can better prepare you in case of an earthquake. A true culture of preparedness requires the effort of the whole community to understand the hazards, then develop and practice the proper protective actions.”