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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
May 14, 2018

County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

The Great California ShakeOut

I encourage you to meet your school or district earthquake drill requirements by participating in this year’s Great California ShakeOut on October 18, 2018. (Drills can be held on another day if necessary.) The first step is to renew or register your school or district today on the Great California ShakeOut Web page at

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. ShakeOut began in California in 2008 and has become a global event, with 58 million participants worldwide in 2017.

Last year more than 10.5 million Californians practiced “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” and other safety procedures as part of the ShakeOut drill. Students and staff in more than 500 districts, 390 charter schools, and more than 500 private schools accounted for 6.3 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 Great California ShakeOut is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance. Members include the CDE, Southern California Earthquake Center, U.S. Geological Survey, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, American Red Cross, California Earthquake Authority, California Institute of Technology, University of Southern California, 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 213-740-3262 or by e-mail at


Tom Torlakson


Last Reviewed: Monday, May 14, 2018

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