The Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill is all set for Thursday morning and when the imagined “big one” hits at 10:17 a.m., officials are hoping everyone remembers to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On.”
The earthquake drill is expected to have 9.4 million participants in California. It is designed to teach people the practices that can lessen injuries in a real earthquake. At the allotted time, participants will react as if a quake of major magnitude is rumbling through. Participants will be encouraged to drop to the ground, take cover under a desk or table if one is available and hold onto it until the shaking stops. If a table or desk is not nearby, participants should crawl to an interior wall corner and cover their head and neck with their arms.
Studies of injuries and deaths caused by earthquakes in the United States over the past few decades indicate that people are more likely to be injured by falling or flying objects than to die in a collapsed building, according to the Earthquake Country Alliance.
The message of “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” is trying to replace an outdated mode of thinking that the best practice in an earthquake is to get outside or stand in a doorway.
"The main point is to not try to move, but to immediately protect yourself as best as possible where you are," states the Great ShakeOut website. "Earthquakes occur without any warning and may be so violent that you cannot run or crawl; you therefore will most likely be knocked to the ground where you happen to be. You will never know if the initial jolt will turn out to be start of the big one."
In Stanislaus County there are 45,668 participants registered to participate in the Great ShakeOut. Locally, the City of Turlock, the Turlock Unified School District, the Salvation Army and California State University, Stanislaus will all be participating in the drill.