At 10:20 a.m. PDT on Oct. 20, nearly 10 million Californians will participate in the largest earthquake drill ever.
The drill, known as The Great California ShakeOut, will take place in offices, homes and schools across the state, in an effort to teach people how best to respond to an earthquake, no matter where they are when one strikes.
"The best way to instinctively and immediately do the right thing when the shaking begins is to practice," according to Mark Benthien, communications director of the Southern California Earthquake Center at the University of Southern California.
So what exactly will ShakeOut participants do when the clock strikes 10:20 a.m.? They'll follow the three internationally recognized steps for earthquake safety :
1 - Drop to the ground
2 - Take cover under a sturdy desk or table
3 - Hold on until the shaking stops
When each second counts, immediate quake-safe actions will save lives and minimize injuries, according to the ShakeOut website. Following these three steps is the best way to do this, and also gives people the best chance of quickly recovering from one of nature's most destructive forces.
The ShakeOut website has several more handy tips for surviving an earthquake, including supply checklists and suggestions for how to prepare your home for an earthquake.
"Our goal," said Benthien, "is to ensure that everyone has a plan — and, after the fact, a survival story!"
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