Banner for the Great Shakeout (earthquake exercise). Full text says: "Join Us for the World's Largest Earthquake Drill. Register Now at October 16, 2014

Most people living in New England probably think of places like California or Japan when they hear the word "earthquake." While Californians have learned to expect earthquakes, residents of New England typically consider the ground beneath their feet to be "solid as a rock." Nonetheless, the record of earthquake activity in the United States shows that, while the highest level of activity is, of course, in the western part of the country, earthquakes are quite common in many areas of the eastern United States, including New England. Notable examples of earthquakes that caused damage in New England and adjacent areas are: the earthquake off the coast of Cape Ann, MA in 1755; two earthquakes near Ossipee, NH in 1940; and an earthquake near New York City in 1884. (Source: Weston Observatory)

To help prepare for earthquakes, millions of people across the  country in schools, businesses, government offices, organizations, and households will participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills by practicing “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” and other aspects of their emergency plans. We request your partnership in promoting the awareness of and participation in the 2014 Great Northeast ShakeOut. Earthquakes do occur in Massachusetts and it is important that  residents know how to be safe when the earth shakes.  You are invited to join millions of people worldwide who will “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” on October 16th at 10:16 a.m. in the 2014 Great Shakeout! 

The 2013 Great Northeast Shakeout was the first year of participation in Massachusetts. Almost 30,000 people in Massachusetts (and 19 million worldwide) participated in the 2013 Shakeout on 10/17/13 and we hope to have many more for the 2014 event. Check out the photo album of the 2013 event in Massachusetts. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to become better prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes. Why is "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" important to practice? You may only have seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down, or something falls on you. Practicing helps you be ready to react. Visit to learn more.

It is also recommended that you, your school or organization, and your community review and update plans and supplies, and secure your space in order to prevent damage or injuries.

Everyone can participate! Individuals, families, schools, government agencies, businesses and other organizations are all invited to register. Register today and learn more about ways to participate and get resources at!

Image depicting what to do during an earthquake: Drop to the Floor, Cover yourself by getting under sturdy furniture, and Holding on until the shaking stops

Weston Lego League ShakeOut Video

Check out this great video maybe by a First Lego League team from Weston, MA about what to do in an earthquake! Video features the Lego League team as well as representatives from MEMA and the Weston Observatory.