Let's talk about the drill itself. What will 8.7 million Californians be doing at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, October 17, for the Great California ShakeOut, the largest earthquake drill in the world?
They will "Drop, Cover and Hold On" for 60 seconds.
If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then Drop, Cover and Hold On:
DROP to the ground as quickly as possible,
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops.
Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you feel it is safe to exit. In most buildings, you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.
If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, street lights, and power lines, then Drop, Cover and Hold On. Stay there until the shaking stops.
If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop, and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.
Ground shaking itself during an earthquake is seldom the cause of injury. Most earthquake-related injuries and deaths are caused by collapsing walls and roofs, flying glass and falling objects. It is extremely important for a person to move as little as possible to reach the place of safety he or she has identified because most injuries occur when people try to move more than a short distance during the shaking. "Short distance" is defined as less than a few steps.
Today, identify the "drop spots" in the course of your day to pre-determine the safest locations at home, work, and the places you frequent regularly.