Register for ‘The Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill in Illinois

Recognizing the seismic risk in Illinois and the need for residents to be prepared for a major earthquake, Governor Bruce Rauner has declared Oct. 20 Great ShakeOut Day in Illinois to encourage people to participate in an international earthquake drill at 10:20 a.m. that day.

“On Oct. 20, millions of people in the U.S. and around the globe will take a few minutes to practice how to stay safe when an earthquake occurs,” said Gov. Rauner. “In addition to the seismic zones impacting southern Illinois, many residents travel to places in the U.S. and around the world that are at risk for earthquakes. That’s why I encourage everyone to learn more about earthquake preparedness and to take part in the Great ShakeOut drill.”

The Great ShakeOut drill focuses on the Drop, Cover and Hold On actions: drop down to the ground, take cover under a table or other piece of heavy furniture and then hold on until the shaking stops. These steps can protect people from objects falling from the ceiling and walls, which can cause serious injury or death during an earthquake.

Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness. While the international drill will take place on Oct. 20, individual drills can be conducted anytime within two weeks of that date. Those planning to conduct the drill on an alternative date are encouraged to register so they will receive additional earthquake preparedness information.

“People often think the only risk for earthquakes in the U.S. is along the West Coast,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “However, some of the largest earthquakes to ever occur in the continental U.S. were along the New Madrid seismic zone in the early 1800s. The Great ShakeOut drill helps raise awareness of this earthquake risk and actions people can take to stay safe when the earth starts to shake.”

Joseph said more than 435,000 people in Illinois currently are registered for this year’s event.

Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at