Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:17 a.m. on October 17* during Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills! 

In Virginia, more than 1 million have signed up to participate. We've seen first-hand over the past few years that Virginia can see earthquakes, and we will see them again. 

While they are more rare than tornadoes, floods and hurricanes, earthquakes have no warning that they are about to occur. That's why preparing is important.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE DRILL

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.

Do not move to another location or outside. Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl. You are more likely to be injured if you try to move around during strong shaking. Also, you will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the big one…and that’s why you should always Drop, Cover, and Hold On immediately!



These are guidelines for most situations. Read below to learn how to protect yourself in other situations and locations, or visit www.dropcoverholdon.org.

If you are unable to Drop, Cover, and Hold On: If you have difficulty getting safely to the floor on your own, get as low as possible, protect our head and neck, and move away from windows or other items that can fall on you.

In a wheelchair: Lock your wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Always protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

In bed: If you are in bed, hold on and stay there, protecting your head with a pillow. You are less likely to be injured staying where you are. Broken glass on the floor has caused injury to those who have rolled to the floor or tried to get to doorways.

In a high-rise: Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Avoid windows and other hazards. Do not use elevators. Do not be surprised if sprinkler systems or fire alarms activate.

In a store: When Shaking starts, Drop Cover and Hold On.  A shopping cart or getting inside clothing racks can provide some protection. If you must move to get away from heavy items on high shelves, drop to the ground first and crawl only the shortest distance