The annual ShakeOut prepares California schools for a real earthquake


Kaitlyn Luu

Students protect themselves during the ShakeOut by getting under the tables. Things could fall from the shaking so it is always best to take cover.

Kaitlyn Luu

On October 20th at 10:20am, during second period, Ayala participated in the annual Great ShakeOut, an international earthquake drill that is practiced by schools, businesses, and government offices. The purpose of the ShakeOut is to make people aware of safety procedures if and when there is an emergency.

When there is an earthquake happening in school, students are taught to get under the desk or table and cover their heads to protect themselves. This is something we learn in elementary school and over the years becomes ingrained in us, so we do not need instruction on what to do when an earthquake actually does happens. These precautionary measures are deemed as effective when it comes to making sure everybody at school is safe and prepared for something like that to happen without warning. Earthquakes are one of those things that you do not think will happen to you until they really do, so there is value in knowing how to react and behave in those situations because they can be quite frightening.

“I feel that it’s important to practice, be aware of what to expect and what to do in case of an emergency,” math teacher Mrs. Maria DeLaRosa said. 

Doing the bureaucratic drills throughout schooling years can become a bit tedious, but at the end of the day, it is of the utmost importance that our safety is prioritized. After all, most of us only know what to do when an earthquake happens because of those drills. And lets not forget that it can be anywhere at any time when we have to stop, drop, and cover. 

“I think they should participate so everyone is prepared equally and no one freaks out or panics once an actual earthquake happens,” freshman Madison ONeill said.

Earthquake safety drills are practiced routinely in regions like California where they occur much more frequently, but there are also a slew of other U.S. states as well as other countries that take part in the ShakeOut. 44,683,189 people were registered by for the drill this year which is not surprising considering earthquakes are a pretty big deal and can have a lot of devastating consequences.

The average number of deaths per year caused by earthquakes in California 40 individuals. These deaths are caused by buildings and structures collapsing and resulting in people suffering extreme physical trauma. The fact of the matter is, natural disasters are not to be taken lightly as they can cause horrific damage and end someone’s life at any given moment.