Drop, Cover, and Hold On!

At 10:21 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, more than 7 million Californians are expected to participate in the second annual Great California ShakeOut, a drill designed to educate the public about how to protect themselves during a large earthquake, and how to get prepared. It’s billed as the largest earthquake drill to ever take place in the United States.

Officials from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services promoted the event on Oct. 12 by visiting a local middle school where students were able to experience a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in a transportable earthquake simulator.

Three key principles from the Great California ShakeOut to pass along to your family members, coworkers, and patients are drop, cover, and hold on. So when the shaking starts, drop to the floor immediately; take cover by getting under a sturdy table or desk, and hold on to it until the shaking stops.

If the shaking starts when you’re fast asleep in bed (as has happened to me since living in San Diego sporadically since 1984), experts recommend that you stay in bed, grab a pillow, and cover your head. Steer clear of large furniture, mirrors, or other hanging objects that could fall and injure you. 

— Doug Brunk (on Twitter@dougbrunk)

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Filed under Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Hospital and Critical Care Medicine, IMNG, Primary care

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