The Whole State of California Did an Earthquake Drill. Here's How You Can Prepare, Too.
Millions of people in California simultaneously dropped to the ground and took cover Thursday. There wasn’t an earthquake happening — but they were preparing for one.
The statewide drill is called the “Great California ShakeOut” and it has happened every year 2008, according to the event’s website. The idea is to increase preparedness for the event of a catastrophic earthquake, which some believe California could suffer soon enough.
“Clearly we're overdue,” Ready America president Jeff Primes told ABC Los Angeles. “And it's not a question of if we're going to have the next big earthquake, it's a question of when it will be.”
So at 10:19 a.m. residents began partaking in the drill. “They told me to drop and go under a table and hold on,” a boy among a group of students at the city’s Natural History Museum told the outlet.
“People need to prepare now,” Veronica Verde, a spokeswoman for FEMA, added. “It's something that's going to be happening soon. It's not if, it's when it's going to happen. Disasters don't plan ahead but you can.”
According to FEMA’s Ready Campaign, you should make sure to cover your head and neck with your arms to protect from falling debris in the event of an earthquake. Seek additional cover under sturdy desk or table if you can, and make sure to stay where you are until the tremors end.
And it always helps to prepare. Stocking water, medication and crucial documents can make a huge difference, and it doesn’t hurt to rehearse drills much like the Great California ShakeOut with your family and friends.