Thousands in Contra Costa County plan to ‘drop, cover and hold on’ for Great ShakeOut

Thousands to participate in Great Shakeout in Contra Costa County
Photo courtesy of the Great Shakeout.

Over 30 million people worldwide have signed up to participate in the 2021 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill at 10:21 a.m. Thursday, including 136,784 participants in Contra Costa County, of which 116,277 are students and staff in K-12 schools, according to the Great Shakeout website. Among those signed up are nine West Contra Costa Unified School District schools and three Richmond charter schools.

The annual event aims to educate the public on earthquake preparedness and encourages people to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill. The one-minute drill can be practiced at any time, but it is especially practiced on International ShakeOut Day, held the third Thursday of October.

“This annual date was selected back in 2009, when most schools agreed this was the best time,” according to Great ShakeOut, which is coordinated nationally by Earthquake Country Alliance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of other partners.

The basic drill calls for people to drop where they are onto their hands and knees, which protects them from being knocked down and allows them to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby; cover their heads and neck with one arm and hand, and, if possible, to crawl underneath a sturdy table or next to an interior wall (away from windows) while staying on their knees, bent over to protect vital organs; and to hold on to the shelter or your head and neck with both arms and hands until the shaking stops.

Check out the video below for more information. And visit here for comprehensive earthquake preparedness information.