Marla Petal1 and Rebekah Green1, 2
with Michele Wood3 and Andrea Nguyen2, 4
1Risk RED 2Western Washington University, Resilience Institute
3California State University, Fullerton 4Rhode Island School of Design
Keywords: earthquake drills, disaster risk reduction, ShakeOut
Our thanks to Mark Benthien, Southern California Earthquake Center, for their support
in the development and delivery of the annual ShakeOut survey, and to our partners
Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, FEMA, and ICF International.
In 2011, the Central United States Earthquake Consortium organized its first regional
ShakeOut drill on April 28, 2011 at 10:15am. The drill was promoted in eight states
across the Southeast and Midwest: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indianna, Kentucky,
Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. In these eight states, nearly 10,000 people
registered themselves or their organizations for the drill. Taken together, more than 3
million people were registered for this drill.
Central US ShakeOut Drill Central US ShakeOut Survey
Registrants Participants represented Respondents
2,839* 2.5 million
schools 296 273,803
universities 146 0.5 million 34 250,837
Organizations 3,328 740 324,428
Individuals 3,602 10,000 767 >767
TOTAL 9,915 Approx. 3 million 1,906
The drill was intended to both encourage participants to practice how to protect
themselves during an earthquake and to recognize risk reduction measures that they
could take now.
Following the drill, ShakeOut registrants were invited to complete an online
questionnaire covering pre-ShakeOut preparedness, drill participation and immediate
impacts. More than 1,900 responded to the survey, representing about 1 million of the 3
million ShakeOut participants. This report summarizes the results of that survey.
Assessment, Planning and Physical Protection
Emergency or disaster preparedness plans are almost universal at individual schools,
groups of schools, universities and colleges, and organizations responding to the survey.
However, fewer had committees or designated individuals to organize response or
update plans. A third of the K-12 schools reported not teaching students about disaster
impacts at all.
Few respondents have seriously considered how to assure their own organizational
continuity. While three-quarters have made plans for alternate learning or work sites,
fewer have considered plans for alternative schedules in a post-disaster situation.
Organizations showed the highest rates of planning for continuity; institutions of higher
education showed the lowest rates. Responders noted a widespread lack of awareness
of the earthquake hazards and risks in this region, a problem an annual ShakeOut drill
could address by providing a focal point and leverage.