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10/17/2012 14:26:32

Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

Caltech to participate in the Great California ShakeOut

Get ready to drop, cover, and hold on! On Thursday, October 18, Caltech will once again participate in the Great California ShakeOut, the annual statewide earthquake-preparedness drill. Caltech students, faculty, staff, and visitors are encouraged to join the more than 8 million Californians who will have the opportunity to practice how to protect themselves during an earthquake.

At 10:18 a.m., an alert will be sent via Caltech's emergency notification system to signify the start of the one-minute drill. The Institute will join businesses, nonprofits, government organizations, schools, neighborhoods, families, and others throughout the state in performing three vital action steps: drop, cover, and hold on. The recommended protocol is as follows:

  • DROP to the ground
  • Take COVER by getting underneath a sturdy desk or table
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops

Additionally, throughout the day, the campus will be engaged in emergency-response and recovery activities as the Institute activates its Emergency Response Plan.

"Building a disaster-resilient institute begins with everyone taking the time to learn what to do in emergency situations," says Jim Cowell, Caltech's associate vice president for facilities. "Participating in the annual ShakeOut exercise is a great opportunity for everyone on campus to practice their earthquake procedures and review their personal and departmental emergency plans."

Here are additional ways you can participate in this year's ShakeOut:

  • Take a photo of your colleagues or students participating in the ShakeOut drill and submit it to by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, 2012, for the chance to win a prize.
  • Send a test communication to an out-of-state emergency contact via amateur radio. From 9:00 a.m. until noon on Thursday, October 18, on the second floor of Winnett Student Center, members of Caltech's Amateur Radio Club will send a test message on your behalf to a friend or family member located in the United States or Canada.
  • Bookmark Caltech's Emergency Management webpage in your browser to learn about upcoming events and trainings and to stay informed of the latest campus emergency-preparedness news.

For earthquake safety tips and additional information on the Great California ShakeOut, visit

Written by Andrew Allan