‘Great ShakeOut’ earthquake drill takes place Thursday

SPOKANE, Wash. — Get ready to drop, cover, and hold on: The world’s largest earthquake drill takes place on Thursday.

Each year on October 21, The Great ShakeOut is held at 10:21 a.m. local time in earthquake-prone regions around the world. That includes the Inland Northwest.

Washington is one of the most earthquake-prone states in the nation and Idaho sees its fair share of shakes too. The Spokane area most recently experienced an earthquake swarm in 2001. Quakes coming from other parts of the region are often felt here, despite no known fault lines in much of the Inland Northwest.

RELATED: Interactive Fault Line Map

The main point of The Great ShakeOut is to reinforce the three steps to take during an earthquake. Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

  • DROP to the ground (before the earthquake drops you!)
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops


earthquake drill instructions, drop, cover, and hold on

If you’re outdoors, move to an open area if you’re not already before doing the drop, cover, hold on steps. If you’re in a car, stop in a safe area and stay buckled until the shaking is over. Most injuries during earthquakes happen from falling debris when people attempt to move during the shaking.

In addition to the earthquake drill, the state of Washington will be testing its tsunami warning sirens on the coast. For additional information on how to participate in the drills and earthquake safety resources, visit the shakeout.org pages for Washington and Idaho.