Annual Statewide Earthquake Drill Thursday October 19th 10:19 a.m.

Posted: October 16, 2017 at 10:00 am

Each year George Mason University conducts an earthquake drill to help our community prepare for earthquakes and test the Mason Alert emergency notification system.  This drill is held in conjunction with a regional earthquake preparedness effort, The Great Southeast Shakeout.

Participation in this drill is voluntary.  The drill will be announced via Mason Alert email and text message at 10:10 a.m. on October 19th.  The drill beginning at 10:19 a.m. and end at 10:30. To participate, review the Earthquake Preparation and Response Guide available on line at Follow the response instructions provided in the Guide.

If You Are Indoors: Remain indoors and seek protection until the earthquake subsides. Stay calm and take precautions to protect yourself from potential debris by:

  • Drop to the floor and get under or adjacent to a sturdy table, desk, or permanent fixture.
  • Cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Hold On to the table or desk you are under as objects may shift during the earthquake.
  • If you are not near a sturdy table or desk, drop to the floor against an interior wall and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
  • Stay away from windows, overhead fixtures, objects on walls, tall furniture, large appliances and cabinets filled with objects that may be displaced and fall during an earthquake.
  • If you are in an elevator you are afforded a reasonable amount of protection and should remain in place.  Entrapment may occur (in an actual earthquake); notify emergency response personnel by using the elevator phone, help button, or cell phone.
  • If you are in bed, remain in bed and cover your head with a pillow.

If You Are Outdoors: Move away from buildings, overhangs, trees, and power lines to a clear area such as a large open public area or field. If you’re driving, pull over and stop in an area that does not have any overhead hazards.

If getting safely to the floor to take cover won’t be possible: Identify an inside corner of the room away from windows and objects that could fall on you. The Earthquake Country Alliance advises getting as low as possible to the floor. People who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices should lock their wheels and remain seated until the shaking stops. Protect your head and neck with your arms, a pillow, a book, or whatever is available.

Thank you for taking the time to familiarize yourself with earthquake response procedures. For more information about George Mason University’s emergency management programs, please visit or contact Environmental Health and Safety at 703-993-8448 or