- Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.


Agency Links Links
Amber Alert
Amber Alert - TEST
  • smokeAlarms
  • NTAS_widget
  • map_widget
  • state-that-works_widget

Indiana Department of Homeland Security

ShakeOut for Businesses ShakeOut for Businesses


We must all do our part to prepare for a potential earthquake and practice how to protect ourselves when it happens.  The purpose of the ShakeOut is to help people and organizations do both.  The information below is designed to help businesses plan and prepare for the ShakeOut in order to be ready for a real earthquake.

Earthquake Smart Checklist for Businesses

 ShakeOut Drill Manuals for Business  

Level 1—Simple: Drop, Cover and Hold On

This drill uses simple steps to show participants how to perform Drop, Cover, and Hold On -a quake-safe action designed to protect people from falling furniture and objects that may become projectiles during ground shaking.

Level 2—Basic: Life Safety Drill

This life safety drill is designed to help participants think through their emergency response actions during the drill, then afterwards to review and discuss what worked and what did not, and then make appropriate improvements before the next drill or actual earthquake.

Level 3—Intermediate: Decision-Making Drill

This decision-making drill is designed to have key staff and leaders think through more complex issues related to business operations in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake, then afterwards to review and discuss what worked or what did not, and then make appropriate improvements in response procedures before the next drill or actual earthquake.

Level 4—Advanced: Business Operations Simulation Drill

This operations drill focuses on crisis action team personnel who are trained and have emergency response and/or recovery duties in your business disaster plan (Business Continuity Plan). The drill incorporates simulated incidents, decision-making, response, and life safety aspects, followed by a review of what worked and what did not, and then make appropriate improvements in response procedures before the next earthquake or drill.

 Planning your Drill


  • Register your business to be counted in the ShakeOut Drill, get email updates, and more.

Between now and February 7:

  • Consider what may happen in a major earthquake and plan what your business will do now to get prepared, so that when it happens you will be able to recover .
  • Use the Earthquake Smart Checklist for Businesses to assess your earthquake preparedness.
  • Talk to other businesses about what they have done, and encourage them to join you in getting more prepared.
  • Plan your drill using one of the four levels of sample drills in the ShakeOut Drill Manual for Businesses.

February 7, 2012, 11:15 a.m. EST:

  • Conduct your drill. If you did not choose a drill from the ShakeOut Drill Manual for Businesses, then follow these simple steps:
  • Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Have your employees Drop to the ground, take Cover under a table or desk, and Hold On to it as if a major earthquake were happening (stay down for at least 60 seconds). Practice now so your employees will immediately protect themselves during earthquakes!
  • While still under the table, or wherever you are, look around and imagine what would happen in a major earthquake. What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like after? What will your business do before the actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?
  • Practice what your business will do after the shaking stops.

Get Prepared

  • What we do now, before the next big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after.
  • The 7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business booklet provides detailed instructions for what any size business can do to get prepared.
  • Encourage your employees to get ready at home and at work: The Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety is a good source for things individuals and families can do to prepare.
  • Do a facility inspection for non-structural items (bookshelves, equipment, etc.) that might fall and be damaged or cause injury and secure them.
  • Identify hazards and special needs in each department.
  • Develop, review or exercise your business continuity plan with employees to identify and practice their responsibilities.
    • Create or review your employee contact lists and communication plan.
    • Locate utility shut off valves; make sure employees know the location, procedure and responsibilities.
    • Inventory special skills within your organization useful in a disaster (amateur radio operator, search and rescue, etc.)
    • Invite your local Fire Department to your next meeting to explain earthquake safety practices and demonstrate fire extinguisher use to employees.
    • Include your critical need vendors in disaster planning. Create post-disaster agreements.
    • The DRB Toolkit interactive software application is designed to assist small to midsize organizations build a comprehensive disaster plan and continuity program. Organizations receive a 50% discount code for the software when they register for the ShakeOut. Organize or refresh your emergency equipment - fire extinguishers, first aid, flashlights, food, crank radios, satellite phones, generator, fuel; make sure employees know the location and how to utilize supplies.
  • Be prepared for the possibility that your employees may need to shelter in place for 2 – 3 days.
    • Store at least one gallon of water per person, per day.
    • What other supplies might you need if transportation routes were blocked and employees or customers needed to remain in your facility for an extended length of time?
  • Identify any structural weaknesses in your building: ask a local earthquake retrofitting contractor for a structural inspection, and develop a plan to address any issues. If you rent your facility, ask the building owner about the state of the building. Consider whether earthquake insurance is right for you.
  • Promote first responder and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training for your employees.

 ShakeOut for Businesses Resources

ShakeOut Drill Manual for Businesses

The 7 Steps to an Earthquake Resilient Business

Disaster Ready Business Toolkit