Skip to content
Printer-friendly version

Great California Shakeout Drill

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

October 10, 2011

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


Last year, more than 7.9 million Californians practiced “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” and other earthquake safety procedures as part of the second Great California ShakeOut drill. Students and staff at more than 360 districts and many private schools accounted for nearly 5.5 million of these participants.

Broad school participation in earthquake preparedness from the start inspired businesses, organizations, government agencies, and individuals throughout the state to participate.

The Great California ShakeOut is designed to provide a sense of urgency about earthquakes and to encourage people, organizations, schools, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved. Schools are leaders in preparedness, and your participation will set an example for many others to get involved.

I strongly encourage you to participate in the third annual Great California ShakeOut on October 20, 2011. The first step in participating is to register your school or district today on the Great California ShakeOut Web site at External link opens in new window or tab.. Registered participants will be given detailed information to assist them in conducting their drills.

The California Department of Education has worked with many partners to create age-appropriate resources for planning drills, promoting participation, teaching about earthquakes and preparedness, and educating families. You can find these resources on the ShakeOut “How Schools Can Participate” Web page at External link opens in new window or tab..

If you have any questions regarding the Great California ShakeOut, please contact Mark Benthien, Executive Director, Earthquake Country Alliance, by phone at 213-740-1560 or by e-mail at


Tom Torlakson


Download Free Readers