UW Emergency Management

October 11, 2022

The Great UW ShakeOut 2022 is coming!


As the world is recovering from the longstanding COVID-19 pandemic, let’s turn our attention back to another threat that could suddenly and dramatically impact our lives… an earthquake!  Did you know that the biggest natural hazard threat here in the Pacific Northwest, is earthquakes?

While Washington State does not experience earthquakes as frequently as, California or Alaska…when we are hit with the next 7, 8, or 9 magnitude earthquake, the results will be devastating and potentially catastrophic.  One of the main reasons for this is when people aren’t accustomed to experiencing earthquakes on a regular basis, they are less likely to become prepared for one!


Well, lucky for you the 2022 Great UW ShakeOut is just around the corner!   The UW’s participation is part of the Great ShakeOut, a (inter)national program that encourages and supports organizations and individuals alike to practice what every person should do when an earthquake hits: DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON.  Join over 41 million other people on October 20th in this important event

Of course, there is nothing we can do to stop an earthquake;  so the very first (and most important) thing to consider during an earthquake is life safety.  Studies have shown that people injured during an earthquake are either hit by objects inside of a building that are not bolted down or secured, or as a result of trying to run out or immediately evacuate a building.  It is for this reason that the standard response to the ground shaking is to DROP, COVER,&HOLD ON!  The Great UW ShakeOut is an opportunity for everyone to practice this action and develop a little bit of muscle memory for the real event.


Once again, all 3 main UW campuses will be testing our UW Alert notification system around the same time as part of the national Great ShakeOut earthquake drill – this year happening around 9:00am on Thursday, October 20, 2022. There are many ways to participate in the drill beyond getting the notification, or even practicing DROP, COVER, & HOLD ON.  For example, your team/roommates/class could talk about emergency planning, take inventory of emergency supplies, practice evacuation procedures, and so on.  The level of participation in the Great UW Shakeout is up to you and totally voluntary.


Yes!  We created a flyer for you to print and post in your area, department, or building. Download it here. And then keep an eye out for a few more preparedness tips and specific resources that UW Emergency Management has to offer you and your team.  Click HERE for more detailed information on how you, your family, your UW peers and others can prepare NOW for the “Big One!

Questions? email disaster@uw.edu