News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: October 18, 2021

Humboldt County to participate in Great California ShakeOut, October 21


Individuals and communities throughout Humboldt County will participate in the Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill this week to better prepare for a local earthquake emergency.

Held annually on the third Thursday of October, this year’s ShakeOut Drill is set for Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 10:21 a.m. During this self-led drill, community members are encouraged to participate by practicing how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. Also, during this drill, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) will be conducting a test of Humboldt ALERT, the county’s emergency notification system.

Because Humboldt ALERT is an “opt-in” notification system, community members must sign up in order to receive these life-saving alerts. To sign up for Humboldt ALERT or modify your information prior to Thursday’s drill, visit

Additionally, this year Humboldt OES will be activating two volunteer teams for a communications drill concurrent to the ShakeOut Drill. The Humboldt Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the county’s Auxiliary Communications (AuxCom) Team will undergo the emergency exercise to practice relaying information via amateur radio in the event that a disaster impacts local communication infrastructure.


Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:  

  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand
    1. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter
    2. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)
    3. Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs
  • HOLD ON until shaking stops
    1. Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts
    2. No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

Large earthquakes can occur with little to no warning, and for coastal Humboldt County, present the threat of both local and distant source tsunamis. A local source tsunami is generated from an earthquake close to Northern California and can arrive to our coastal areas within minutes. If a very long earthquake occurs close to our coast, there will be no time for an official warning to be issued. Community members must rely on natural warning signs that a tsunami is about to occur. These signs include: an earthquake lasting approximately 20 seconds or longer, the ocean water moving far out exposing the seafloor, and/or hearing an unusually load roar from the coast. If you are in a tsunami evacuation zone and observe any of these natural warnings, move to higher ground or inland as soon as it is safe to do so.


The ShakeOut Drill is free and open-to-the-public, with participants including individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. While registration isn’t necessary, individuals and organizations are encouraged to join the drill by registering to participate at Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.

To date, 6.6 million people are registered to participate in this state event, however Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills will also occur throughout the nation and in several countries worldwide. More than 35 million people around the globe are expected to participate. ShakeOut is coordinated globally by the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California.

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