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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Donna McCracken, Deputy Fire Chief , (510) 981-5501


Berkeley, California (Friday, October 07, 2016) - Join in with Berkeleyans throughout the city on October 20th and participate in a five-minute earthquake drill no matter where you are.

At 10:20am on October 20th, practice the three things that everyone should do during an earthquake:

  • DROP to the ground
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  • HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.

Learning and practicing how to "drop, cover, and hold on" is a brief commitment that can save your life.  Earthquakes are an inevitable part of Berkeley's future. Acting now prepares Berkeleyans for the immediate impact of shaking. Being safe and prepared also helps everyone bounce back quickly from an earthquake's effects.

Individuals, families, businesses or organizations can register at the ShakeOut Website to receive information on how to plan their drill and how to talk with others about earthquake preparedness. Use "City of Berkeley" as the "Parent Organization."

Everyone in the City of Berkeley is encouraged to join the Citywide exercise, either by participating on the 20th, or finding a time that works best for them.  Neighborhood groups who register on the ShakeOut website and participate can count this towards the "citywide exercise" requirement in the Office of Emergency Services' program to qualify for a free dumpster once a year. After participating, check disaster supply kits, review evacuation plans, and practice notifying loved ones of your status. Tips for preparedness are available at the Berkeley Earthquake Website.

Social media can play a critical role in the aftermath of a disaster. Phone lines can be tied up. Knowing the social media accounts of loved ones, and posting a status there can get help or provide peace of mind to loved ones. Those who share a picture on Twitter of their business, household, or group participating in the drill and mention @CityofBerkeley may be shared by the official City of Berkeley Twitter account.

As part of the exercise, the City will activate the Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS), which is used to send information on actions needed to protect yourself during a life-threatening emergency. BENS is the primary system used to send this information, and everyone who spends time in the City of Berkeley is encouraged to sign up for the system at www.cityofberkeley.info/bens. Those who have signed up for the system will receive a notification on October 20th.  If you have any problems with BENS on October 20th, please contact OES@cityofberkeley.info.  

Join neighbors, City staff and others in our Berkeley community for the Great ShakeOut drill. "Drop, Cover, and Hold on" at 10:20 a.m. on October 20th.    


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