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Oct. 10, 2019

Practice Earthquake Preparedness During the Great Arizona ShakeOut

TUCSON, Ariz. — According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 50% of Americans live in earthquake-prone areas and about 100 earthquakes are recorded in Arizona each year. On Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m., the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill will teach people at school, work and home how to prepare for and survive the next damaging earthquake. 

In Arizona, most earthquakes go unfelt, but the potential for rare, life-threatening, large magnitude earthquakes exists. Geologic faults in Arizona, surrounding states and Mexico can produce damaging earthquakes up to magnitude 7.5. Such large events could cause strong and damaging ground-shaking across the state.

"The Great Arizona ShakeOut is an opportunity to practice drop, cover, and hold on, a simple behavior that could protect you, your family and friends from harm in the event of a damaging earthquake," said Phil Pearthree, director of the Arizona Geological Survey at the University of Arizona.

On Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m., nearly 20 million Americans in all 50 states and 4 U.S. territories will participate in the Great ShakeOut, America's largest voluntary emergency preparedness event. In Arizona, the Great Arizona ShakeOut will involve approximately 100,000 participants, including: school-age children; university students and staff; county, state and federal employees; tribal communities; health facilities; civic groups; and businesses.

During an earthquake, the greatest immediate danger in homes and buildings is from flying or falling items such as ceiling tiles, furniture, flat-screen TVs, pictures, lights, dishes, mirrors and ceiling fans. Lessons learned from the Great ShakeOut's two-minute long "Drop, Cover and Hold On" exercise can protect you and your family from serious injury.

At 10:17 a.m. on Oct. 17, all Arizonans are asked to:

  • Drop to the ground;
  • Take Cover under a sturdy table or desk and protect your head and neck;
  • Hold On until the shaking stops.

Participating in ShakeOut is free and open to the public. Partners in the Great Arizona Shakeout include the UA Arizona Geological Survey, the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs, county and municipal emergency management offices, the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.




Michael Conway
Arizona Geological Survey

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the UA is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The UA ranked in the top 25 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The UA advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.