"The Great ShakeOut" is used to teach emergency preparedness across the country, with an estimated 9.5 million people nationally expected to "drop, cover, and hold on" at 10:17 a.m. Thursday.
Local schools, businesses, community organizations and government agencies are slated to take part in the drill. More than 800,000 participants in San Diego County have registered on the Great ShakeOut web site. Click the link to find out how to take part.
According to Holly Crawford, director of the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services, the most important thing people can do to prevent or minimize injuries is to check their homes for hazards. In the case of earthquake, that means securing items that could fall and injure people.
She also advises everyone to create an emergency plan and keep an emergency supplies kit on hand.
“It is also critical that everyone know and practice 'Drop, Cover and Hold On' since this is considered the best advice by earthquake experts,” Crawford said.
According to the county, a major earthquake along the Rose Canyon Fault could devastate the region. The fault runs along La Jolla and downtown San Diego, and shaking from a major event—the maximum credible event on the fault is magnitude 7.2—could result in significant impacts throughout the region.
Earthquakes often cause cascading effects such as landslides, utility interruption, hazardous materials incidents, dam failure, transportation infrastructure interruption, and fires. There are numerous known earthquake faults in and around San Diego County, both on and offshore.
Most injuries in earthquakes are caused by falling or flying objects and can be prevented.The American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter offers these safety tips:
—When you feel the earth shaking, Drop, Cover and Hold On! until the shaking stops.
—Take steps at home to secure items such as water heaters, heavy furniture and glass items using braces, straps, or museum wax or gel so they won’t pose a hazard during shaking.
—Practice the best responses during an earthquake with everyone at home, then consider where you will take shelter at work or other places you frequent.
—Have a plan for emergencies and go over it with your family. A template is available at www.ReadySanDiego.org by clicking on the Family tab.
—Have emergency provisions such as water, non-perishable food, first aid items, flashlights, batteries, prescribed medications, cash, and an emergency radio on hand. A list is also available on the ReadySanDiego site as well as other earthquake safety tips.The drills began in 2008 in California and have spread worldwide. It's held each October.