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Earthquake Drill Set for 10:15 on 10/15

Earthquake Drill Set for 10:15 on 10/15

UC Riverside to participate in statewide exercise with “drop, cover, hold on” response, building evacuations, information fair

(October 9, 2009)

Drop, cover, and hold on is the best course of action during an earthquake.  Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.Enlarge

Drop, cover, and hold on is the best course of action during an earthquake. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The University of California, Riverside will participate in an earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 15 as part of The Great California ShakeOut, a statewide exercise, involving the participation of millions of Californians, in preparation for the inevitable large earthquake in Southern California’s future.

Students, faculty and staff at UC Riverside will take part in the drill in which they will take action in a manner commensurate with a response to a magnitude 7.8 earthquake along the southern San Andreas Fault.

“‘Drop, cover, and hold on’ is the best course of action during an earthquake,” said David Oglesby, an associate professor of geophysics and one of the organizers of the campus drill. “We are urging everyone indoors on campus to drop, cover, and hold on for 60 seconds, starting 10:15 a.m. on Thursday. We in Southern California especially need to prepare ourselves for a large earthquake through regular drills such as this one. Each one of us ought to know what to do before, during and after the Big One when it arrives.”

The following is the schedule of campus activities for Oct. 15:

10:15 a.m.: A campus-wide earthquake drill (drop/cover/hold on), followed by an evacuation of several buildings.

11 a.m.–1 p.m.: An earthquake information fair at the Bell Tower. Experts will answer questions raised by the drill. Also featured will be earthquake preparedness tips, displays on historical earthquakes and their effects, demonstrations, and educational activities on the science of earthquakes. There also will be a demonstration of how earthquake faults operate; a simple seismograph that displays people’s jumps and stomps; and a laptop-based seismograph network.

“We hope everyone on campus plans to take this drill seriously and spread the word about it,” said Paul Walker, an emergency manager in UCR’s Environmental Health and Safety, and also an organizer of the campus drill. “The more participants, the better are we all and the campus for it. Moreover, the more regularly we take part in drills like the ShakeOut, the quicker and more efficient will be our response to an earthquake.”

Studies show that in a real emergency, “muscle memory” can help people respond quickly even while the mind is in shock. Studies also show that a large earthquake is expected to hit Southern California in the future.

The Great California ShakeOut will now be held statewide on the third Thursday of October each year.

UCR is a core member of the Southern California Earthquake Center, which is one of the co-sponsors of ShakeOut.

For more information on the ShakeOut drill throughout California, visit For information on UCR’s participation in the drill, visit
Earthquake information fair at UCR, 2009.  Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.Enlarge

Earthquake information fair at UCR, 2009. Photo credit: UCR Strategic Communications.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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