The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Print E-mail

In April of 2011, more than 3 million people in communities throughout the CUSEC Member States (Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee) and Associate States of Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, took part in the first annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.  The ShakeOut is a multi-state earthquake drill where participants simultaneously practice the recommended action to take during an earthquake.  This historic effort was recognized by FEMA as a recipient of the Individual and Community Preparedness Award for "Outstanding Drill, Exercise, or Event" in January 2012.  It was also recognized by the White House as part of President Obama's "Champions of Change" initiative, and featured in a blog post "Disaster Preparedness is a Partnership Effort" and panel discussion on the website.  

In 2012, the Shakeout was held on February 7 across nine states (CUSEC Member States and Associate State Oklahoma) and involved more than 2.4 million participants.  This date marked the 200th anniversary of the last of the great 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes.   Going forward, the ShakeOut will take place annually on the first Thursday in February at 10:15AM CST.   

The ShakeOut offers a way for the general public to get prepared and take actions before the next damaging earthquake strikes.  It is promoted through a central website, where people are encouraged to register and pledge their participation to take part in the drill.  Participants are asked to use resources on the website such as drill manuals, broadcasts, scenarios, and safety information to help develop their plans for being more prepared against earthquakes. The goals of the ShakeOut include:

- Engaging millions of people across the "whole community" in disaster preparedness activities
- Increasing public perception of the earthquake hazard and risk reduction measures
- Motivating individuals take specific action towards being prepared for disasters

The ShakeOut has been modeled after similar efforts in California, where drills have been held annually year since 2008.   CUSEC has worked closely with the Southern California Earthquake Center and the Earthquake Country Alliance to develop the central U.S. ShakeOut.   The ShakeOut is coordinated by CUSEC and our Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of other partners throughout the country.  There are too many names to list individually, but we would like to thank the thousands of individuals in the region for their efforts in making this event a continued success. To read more about the ShakeOut, including stories and news about the recent drills held throughout the region, visit

ShakeOut Links

ShakeOut Website (External Link)

2011 ShakeOut Final Report, published July 2011(128k PDF)

2011 ShakeOut Participant Survey Analysis, published January 2012(6MB PDF)

ShakeOut History

2008 - 1st "Great Southern California ShakeOut" drill held;  Central U.S. ShakeOut concept adopted
2009 - Central U.S. ShakeOut planning continued
2010 - Central U.S. ShakeOut planning continued
2011 - 1st Great Central U.S. ShakeOut takes place on April 28 (April 19, in Indiana), with more than 3 million participants in eleven states
2012 - 2nd Annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut takes place on February 7, with more than 2.5 million participants in eleven states
2013 - ShakeOut scheduled for February 7, 2013 at 10:15AM CST

Photos clockwise from the top:  1.  Students at Carnahan High School of the Future in St. Louis, Missouri practice Drop, Cover, and Hold On during the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on April 28, 2011 (CUSEC File Photo); 2.  L to R:  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, U.S. Dept. of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano field student questions at Carnahan High School during the ShakeOut (CUSEC File Photo); 3.  Members of the Jackson Township Fire Department participate in the ShakeOut in Nashville, Indiana (Photo Courtesy Glenn Elmore)  4.  Students at Tekoppel School in Evansville, Indiana take part during a safety assembly during the ShakeOut on April 19, 2011 (CUSEC File Photo)