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Drop, Cover, and Hold On! The Great California ShakeOut

International ShakeOut Day is every third Thursday of October. It's a one-minute earthquake drill involving preparedness activities.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Millions across the world took part in an earthquake drill called The Great California ShakeOut on Thursday at 10:20 a.m. The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services hosted a statewide tour with an earthquake simulation trailer, known as the Great California ShakeOut Tour, at the San Diego Natural History Museum 

International ShakeOut Day is every third Thursday of October. It's a one-minute earthquake drill involving preparedness activities. This annual date was selected back in 2009, when most schools agreed this was the best time.

The main goal of the ShakeOut is to get the world prepared for earthquakes and use the ShakeOut as an opportunity to learn what to do before, during, and after an earthquake. Register for free at ShakeOut.org/register to be counted and listed in your community.

Federal, State, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations agree that the actions described below will reduce injury and death during earthquakes.

How do I protect myself in an earthquake?

  • In most situations, if you feel shaking or get an earthquake alert, immediately: "Drop, Cover, and Hold On! Running outside or getting into a doorway is not recommended as objects that are falling and flying can injure you. If you're driving, pull over if it's safe to do so.  
  • Emergency management experts say take time to discuss an emergency plan with your family. Have a designated meeting spot in case you're not together and have a go-bag ready with any medication you need, supplies, and important paperwork.

How can I teach my kids to prepare?

  • Visit the ShakeOut guide for families. Teach your kids to Drop, Cover, and Hold On. Emergency agencies recommend playing the ‘Earthquake Game’ where when anyone says “earthquake!” everyone has to pretend an earthquake is happening and practice their response. 
  • They also suggest teaching your children to go under a table and hold on if one is near. If they are in a room without a table, crouch against an interior wall, away from windows. Find an “earthquake-safe” location in every room of the house so they don’t try to run during an earthquake.

In San Diego County, 800,530 people have registered for Thursday's drill.

Municipalities whose local government employees will be involved include San Diego, Del Mar, Encinitas, El Cajon, Chula Vista, Santee and Solana Beach.

Multiple agencies in San Diego County are also signed up, including San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, San Diego County Library, San Diego Public Library, Heartland Fire Communications, Padre Dam Municipal Water District and the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

Most San Diego area community colleges and universities will be participating including U.C. San Diego, Cal State San Marcos, San Marcos Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, San Diego State University, Southwestern College and the San Diego Palomar Community College District.

A majority of the county's kindergarten through 12th grade school districts, along with private and charter schools, will have students and staff participating.

According to ShakeOut.org, the objective is to emphasize precautions during a 7.8-magnitude or larger quake along the southernmost portion of the San Andreas fault.

California has the "MyShake" app, an earthquake warning system that you can download for free. It will send you an alert on your cell phone when there's a significant earthquake near you that will affect you.

WATCH RELATED: County's SD Emergency app users now can have earthquake early warning (August, 2021)




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