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Get Ready to ShakeOut on October 17

Drills are used by education agencies to practice responding to a scenario at their buildings and grounds. According to research conducted by the REMS TA Center earlier this year, 48 states have a requirement for schools to conduct a drill or exercise. Some state laws stipulate the frequency that these drills should be conducted on campus (e.g., 1 per month, 9 per year) and some states even mandate the conduct of earthquake drills at education agencies each year.


On October 17 at 10:17 a.m., the REMS TA Center is proud to participate along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, and our Federal family—and invites YOU to participate too—in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills (ShakeOut). This annual opportunity allows communities, education agencies, and organizations to practice what to do during earthquakes (Drop, Cover, and Hold On) and create a culture of earthquake preparedness.

Best Practices Register to participate today! Over 51.2 million participants are already registered to participate in 2019, including over 27.1 million K-12 schools and school districts and 3.2 million colleges and universities. Use key earthquake preparedness and drill resources listed below and find ways that your education agency can engage before, during, and after the ShakeOut on the REMS TA Center Website.

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Other EOP Development and Drill Resources
Education agencies and their emergency management planning teams can pre-plan for earthquakes using the six-step planning process outlined in The Role of Districts in Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans: A Companion to the School Guide, the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans, and the Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education. These guides are built upon years of emergency management planning work, were jointly published by several Federal agencies, and were written specifically for education agencies.

Upcoming Events The REMS TA Center’s EOP ASSIST software application (app) allows K-12 schools and school districts to develop a customized school EOP collaboratively with access to resources along the way and export the EOP as a Word document. This tool was updated in 2019 to allow education agencies to document drills and exercises directly within the app. Alternatively, the REMS TA Center’s EOP ASSIST Interactive Workbook is a low-tech version of a plan generator and may be used by K-12 schools and school districts to develop a customized EOP with access to resources along the way offline using a PDF viewer and Word.

The REMS TA Center and U.S. Department of Education hosted a Webinar, Integrating Drills and Exercises Into Overall School Emergency Management Planning, with FEMA’s National Exercise Division (NED) on how schools can integrate drills and exercises into their overall emergency management planning. Jennifer Lynch from FEMA’s NED joined the Webinar to provide a description of general resources and tools available to support education agencies with planning for and executing drills as a part of overall EOP development.

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