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Drop, Cover, and Hold On For Your Life

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October 12, 2010

An earthquake could happen at any time, but do San Diegans know what to do when one hits?

Too many people in the region don’t. That’s why the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services (OES), school officials, and other disaster preparedness experts today demonstrated what to do, and what not to do in an earthquake.

Video: Quake simulator helps students practice response.

“The actions people take during an earthquake can help reduce injuries and make the difference between life and death,” said Leslie Luke, OES Group Program Manager, at an earthquake simulation at Taft Middle School in San Diego.

Luke was joined by about 30 students, school Principal Mike George, San Diego Unified School District Police Lt. Michael Marquez, and Dean Reese, Chief Executive Officer for ReadyAmerica, which provided the big shaker—an earthquake simulator in a home-like setting—that allowed the students to experience a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

During an earthquake, it is recommended that people drop to the floor immediately; take cover by getting under a sturdy table or desk and hold on to it until the shaking stops.
People should not run outside or use the stairs or elevator. If they are indoors, they should stay indoors. If in bed, people should stay in bed, grab a pillow and cover their head. People should not stand next to large furniture, mirrors or other hanging objects that could fall and injure them.







San Diegans are encouraged to participate in the Great California ShakeOut taking place on Thursday, October 21 at 10:21 a.m. People can register to participate at

“All schools and offices in the San Diego Unified School District will participate in ShakeOut. This is a great opportunity for our students and employees to practice these safety procedures,” said Principal George. “Hopefully the students will take the lessons from this experience home.”

To prepare for an earthquake or other disaster, people should create a disaster plan and an emergency supplies kit, as well as inspect their environment to identify potential hazards. Specific information can be found at

“Most people get injured by things that fall on them,” said Reese from ReadyAmerica.” Being prepared is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.”

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