Riverside County fire officials are urging residents to take part in the 5th annual Great California ShakeOut, which is billed as "the world’s largest earthquake drill."
The drill scenario asks participants to envision a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the San Andreas Fault near Banning and Beaumont. It is scheduled for 10:18 a.m. Thursday Oct. 18, and at that exact time, everyone is encouraged to "drop, cover and hold on."
A powerful quake on the southern San Andreas Fault, which stretches from the Coachella Valley through the Pass area to the Mojave Desert and north to San Francisco, is believed to be the greatest natural hazard Southern California faces in the near future, according to the USGS.
The San Andreas Fault lies along the junction of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates, which are slowly moving in opposite directions.
According to event organizers, a total of 611,103 people in Riverside County had registered to "DROP, COVER and HOLD ON" during ShakeOut 2012 as of Tuesday night, including both the Banning and Beaumont Unified School Districts.
Statewide, more than 9 million people are expected to take part in drills at schools, businesses, non-profits, governments, neighborhoods, organizations, and households, officials said.
The Great California ShakeOut is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance, a statewide partnership of federal, state, local, and community organizations.
San Bernardino County Fire officials offered these tips:
- Be Informed: Learn about potential emergencies which may occur in your local community and the ways to respond to each.
- Make a Plan: Learn how to create a Family or Personal Emergency Plan in case you and your loved ones are not together during a disaster or become separated during an emergency event.
- Build a Kit: Review information about basic emergency kits and how to personalize them with required medications, an emergency medical contact card, first aid supplies, extra food, water, etc.
- Get Involved: Whether at work or at home, learn how you can be a part of a volunteer network before, during and after any disaster event.
For more information about the Great California ShakeOut and to register, visit www.ShakeOut.org/california.
Are you taking part in the event? Do you think it helps draw awareness to the need to prepare for 'the big one'?