Nearly a million take part in annual Great Shakeout drill

San Diego (KUSI) – Almost a million San Diegans stopped, dropped and covered Thursday for the annual earthquake preparedness drill known as the Great Shakeout.

The 944,000 scheduled to participate in schools, county buildings, cultural centers and offices throughout San Diego Thursday were part of 10.4 million participants across the state.

The drill aims remind people of the protocol officials said could save lives in the event of an earthquake.

It is recommended those who feel a quake take cover under the nearest sturdy table or desk and protect their heads from falling debris. Staying away from windows, overhead fixtures, wall hangings and tall furniture until shaking stops is also highly recommended.

In addition, officials said building collapses are not likely in San Diego, so running outside is often not the safest option as going outdoors introduces the risk of falling electrical lines, tree branches or building facades.

If you do find yourself outside when a quake strikes, officials recommended moving away from buildings, trees and overhead power lines and dropping while covering your head. 

Emergency officials also stressed that residents should keep a bag packed with enough food, clothes and water for three days as well as enough medication for seven days. 

Most San Diegans are said to live within 15 miles of a fault, according to Shakeout organizers. The Rose Canyon fault, which runs beneath downtown and along the coast, is one of the most major.

A breach of the fault, officials say, could cause serious damage as no considerable movement has been measured there since before it was settled by Europeans. 

In East County, notable faults include the Elsinore and San Jacinto, however, the entire county is prone to feeling any area earthquake.

In 2012, the Easter Sunday quake centered south of Mexicali, a 7.2 magnitude tremble, was felt throughout the county while in 1992 the Landers quake (7.3 magnitude) caused considerable shaking in San Diego despite being centered in the Mojave Desert.

Categories: KUSI