When an earthquake strikes, there are only seconds to react — knowing how to correctly respond can save your life or prevent major injury. Practising the DROP, COVER, and HOLD ON technique is important. You may only have seconds to protect yourself before a strong earthquake knocks you down, or causes dangerous objects to fall on you.


1. DROP to the ground. During a large earthquake, the ground might jerk strongly and knock you down.

2. Take COVER under a table or something sturdy and move away from windows or other hazards.

3. HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If you cannot get under something, stay low. Protect your head and neck using your arms, a book or anything else within reach.

Many Ismaili families live in parts of the world that are particularly prone to earthquakes, including parts of India, Pakistan, Central Asia, and much of North America. Knowing what to do and practicing the steps by participating in the ShakeOut can make all the difference in saving lives and reducing injury.

The Aga Khan Development Network has been participating in the ShakeOut Drill since 2011. This initiative was conceived as part of AKDN's collaboration with California's Office of Emergency Services under the Agreement of Cooperation between the Ismaili Imamat and the State of California, and is coordinated through Focus Humanitarian Assistance.

In 2013, more than 340 000 individuals participated in the AKDN ShakeOut drill, including AKDN staff, volunteers and students across 21 countries. People living in communities where AKDN agencies and affiliates are active also took part, in countries as varied as Angola, Australia, Afghanistan, Canada, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Portugal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States. At least 23 countries are expected to participate in the 2014 AKDN ShakeOut.

AKDN ShakeOut activities are managed by Focus Humanitarian Assistance. Visit the AKDN page on ShakeOut.org at www.shakeout.org/akdn. For further information and details on how to get involved in the AKDN ShakeOut, email [email protected].