The Great ShakeOut

Download Step-by-Step Exercise Instructions

On Exercise Day (10/19/23) See LIVE Worldwide Data Dashboard and WaveTalkers LIVE Special Event Video

What is ShakeOut?
The Great ShakeOut is the world's largest earthquake drill. It is held annually on the third Thursday of October, and millions of people participate all over the world. In 2022 over 45.6 million people registered their participation. The goal of the ShakeOut is to teach people how to protect themselves during an earthquake.

This year, the exercise scenario calls for a moderate earthquake to occur in your local area at 1019 (AM) on 10/19/23. That's 1019 on 10-19.

Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills across the U.S. are coordinated by the Southern California Earthquake Center in partnership with ECA, CUSEC, state and national emergency management partners, with support from FEMA, NEHRP, NSF, and USGS.

The ShakeOut drill is simple. At the designated time (or whenever works for you or your organization), participants practice self-protective actions such as "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" or “Lock, Cover, and Hold On” if they use a wheelchair. You may want to register your group for the Great ShakeOut. Registrants will receive a certificate of participation from the ShakeOut organization.

How can Radio Operators participate in ShakeOut?

The US Geological Survey (USGS) and Winlink are collaborating to provide "Did you feel it?" (DYFI) earthquake intensity reports via Winlink. SHARES and Amateur Radio Operators are therefore invited to send an EXERCISE Winlink "Did you feel it?" (DYFI) message to the USGS during Shakeout!
In real events Winlink DYFI ground truths contribute to USGS earthquake intensity assessments and event response products, like PAGER. The PAGER system provides fatality and economic loss impact estimates following significant earthquakes worldwide and is used by governments, agencies, NGOs, private companies and citizens.

Here's how:

1. Send Winlink DYFI (“Did-you-feel-it?”) Exercise reports with your group. We encourage you to send reports with Modified Mercalli Intensity V (5) or greater. See below for example reports.

Step-by-Step Exercise Instructions
Winlink USGS DYFI Exercise Instructions (Downloadable)

2. Conduct local radio nets or functional radio exercises to test your group’s preparedness.

The ShakeOut is also an opportunity to learn more about earthquake preparedness. Participants can learn about the different types of earthquakes, how to create an earthquake safety plan, and how to make their homes and businesses more earthquake-resistant.

The Great ShakeOut is a great way to get ready for an earthquake. Many preparedness lessons from the Great ShakeOut also apply to floods, fires, landslides and other disasters. It is also a chance to connect with your community and learn how to help others in the event of an earthquake or other disaster.

Official ShakeOut FAQ: Great Shakeout Frequently Asked Questions

Winlink DYFI Exercise FAQ

Q: My group does not live in earthquake country. May we participate?
A: Yes! USGS welcomes Winlink exercise traffic from all parts of the world.

Q: My group is international. May we participate?
A: Yes! USGS welcomes international Winlink exercise traffic.

Q: Shakeout time is 10:19AM. Which timezone is that?
A: All times are local time.

Q: I won't be able to send my DYFI until I return from work. May I send my traffic later in the day?
A: Yes! Make sure that you are entering the date and time correctly on the Winlink USGS DYFI form (see Step-by-step Instructions) and send your Winlink DYFI Exercise report when you can.

Q: Would peer-to-peer (P2P) and radio-only (RO) Winlink messages be received by USGS?
A: No. USGS requests that you send your DYFI messages to the official USGS email address the form adds.
That means you must use an RMS (Winlink gateway) by radio or Telnet (i.e. the internet) for your DYFI report to be received. USGS does not monitor P2P nor RO.

Q: We are planning an exercise in addition to DYFI. Is that okay?
A: Yes! Shakeout is a great time to test your local and regional radio plans and operations.

Q: We are planning a ShakeOut exercise before/after the official ShakeOut date. Is that okay?
A: Yes! You may report your own exercise earthquake event with Winlink DYFI Exercise form submissions. Make sure that your group is aligned on your selected Exercise ID, Date and Time in the Winlink USGS DYFI form . You may customize those.

Q: What is the main goal?
A: Have fun! Shakeout is a great opportunity to learn about disaster preparedness and how volunteer radio operators can help. It is an excellent opportunity to test your radio and group disaster response capabilities.

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