The phrase to remember is "drop, cover and hold on", according to the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Mangement. "The Great ShakeOut drill provides schools, businesses and residents with the opportunity to develop an quake response plan, practice their response to an natural disaster and have a conversation with coworkers, neighbors and family members about natural disaster preparedness".
Thursday's exercise - carried out annually at 10:19 am to match the date - was based on a 7.8 magnitude natural disaster. Californians born in this state might instinctively drop under a table, cover their head and hold tight.
Participants include more than 6 million K-12 students and almost 2 million people at colleges and universities as well as governments, businesses, faith-based organizations and individuals.
Individuals in wheelchairs or using walkers can lock the wheels and remain seated or get as low as possible until the shaking stops, protecting the head and neck with arms, a pillow, a book or whatever is available.
Drills will take place primarily in schools, universities and colleges, state and local government facilities, healthcare centers and businesses and will last for at least a minute.
With its fair share of earthquakes California agencies are participating in drills on Thursday. The drills are designed much like tornado or fire drills to educate employees, students and others on what to do should an quake hit your area.
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