Illinois Residents Encouraged to Register for ‘The Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill

‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ Drill Set for October 15

SPRINGFIELD – At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, millions of people across the U.S. and in several countries around the globe will take a few minutes to practice actions that could save their lives in the event of an earthquake. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are encouraging people in Illinois to take part in the annual Great ShakeOut drill.

“The ShakeOut drill is a quick, easy way to practice earthquake preparedness,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “It takes very little time, so it works well for schools and office buildings. You simply drop down to the ground, take cover under a table or other piece of heavy furniture and hold on.”

Illinois has participated in ShakeOut drills for the past five years. In October 2014, nearly 578,000 Illinoisans took part in the nationwide earthquake drill. To date, more than 534,000 people in Illinois are registered for the October ShakeOut event.

Joseph noted that some of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the U.S. happened a little more than 200 years ago in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which reaches into southern Illinois. That series of earthquakes lasted for several months and shaking was felt as far away as the East Coast. 


Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at​. Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness. While the international drill will take place on Oct. 15, individual drills can be conducted anytime within two weeks of that date.

The drill focuses on the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions people should take when an earthquake begins: “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.

Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at

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