Students participate in Great California ShakeOut earthquake drill

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IECN photo RUSD: Hughbanks Elementary fifth grade students Marie Gonzalez, Alejandro Cervantes, and Roberto Garcia duck under their desks during the Great Shakeout.
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Californians took an important step toward earthquake safety on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 10:18 a.m. during the 10th annual Great California ShakeOut drill, by practicing how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” when the ground shakes.

IECN photo RUSD: Hughbanks Elementary fifth grade teacher Mr. Craig Marley surveys students after practicing evacuating during the Great Shakeout.

“Like millions of Californians, our District also participated in the Great Shakeout. A site facilitator/designee was assigned to each location. All our 29 schools’ classrooms and support sites participated. Although the students chuckle and giggle because they understand that this is just a drill and not an actual quake, these drills are beneficial. We are more content when we are prepared, especially when children’s lives are involved.” stated RUSD Spokeswoman Syeda Jafri.

Most Californians live within 30 miles of an active fault. Scientists say there is a 99 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or greater earthquake striking our state within the next 30 years.

“Knowing what to do when the ground shakes should be instinctive for everyone who lives in California,” said California Earthquake Authority (CEA) CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “This simple drill will save lives the next time California is hit by a powerful earthquake.”

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Endorsed by emergency officials and first responders, the safe response to an earthquake is to:

DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand

· If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter

· If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows)

· Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs

HOLD ON until shaking stops

· Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts

· No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands

The earthquake drill also serves as a reminder for individuals to review and update their emergency preparedness plans and supplies, and to secure any furnishings, fixtures and items at home and other locations to prevent damage and injuries.

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