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The Great California ShakeOut

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

April 30, 2013

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:


I encourage you to meet your school or district earthquake drill requirements by participating in this year's Great California ShakeOut on October 17, 2013. The first step is to renew or register your school or district on the Great California ShakeOut Web site at

The ShakeOut is designed to provide a sense of urgency about earthquakes and to encourage individuals, organizations, schools, and communities to get prepared, to practice what to do to be safe, and to learn what plans need to be improved.

Last year more than 9.4 million Californians practiced "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" and other safety procedures as part of the ShakeOut drill. Students and staff in more than 400 districts and many private schools accounted for 6.4 million of these participants. Broad school participation inspires businesses, organizations, government agencies, and individuals throughout the state to participate.

Registered participants will be given detailed information for their drills. The California Department of Education (CDE) 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

The ShakeOut is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance. Members include the CDE, Southern California Earthquake Data Center, U.S. Geological Survey, California Emergency Management Agency, American Red Cross, California Earthquake Authority, California Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, State Farm, county offices of education, and many others.

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


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