emergency preparedness

International ShakeOut Day Preps Locals for ‘Big One'

Families are encouraged to practice earthquake drills together and discuss what plans they have for when disaster strikes, especially since students are distance learning and may not be able to practice in school as they normally would

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It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.

A large earthquake is bound to hit San Diego County someday, according to experts, and Southern Californians should be prepared with a disaster plan and emergency kit for whenever the unthinkable strikes.

To help further prepare everyone for when the "Big One" strikes, International ShakeOut Day is back – as it always is on the third Thursday of October. The largest mobile earthquake simulator in the world has returned to remind everyone what to do when an earthquake occurs: drop, cover and hold on.

Earthquake Preparedness

More on what to know when you begin to feel some shaking and swaying.

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California Earthquakes: What To Do Before, During and After

An updated San Diego Earthquake Scenario was revealed in March of this year at the National Earthquake Conference to show locals how devastating it would be if a magnitude 6.9 earthquake were to strike along the Rose Canyon Fault.

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, which simulated the disaster, said they studied the Rose Canyon fault because it runs along the urban core of America’s Finest City. Their study found that about 120,000 buildings would be damaged in such a temblor.

Researchers found that coastal communities from La Jolla to Silver Strand could be cut off from nearly all utility services and infrastructures if a major 6.9-magnitude earthquake were to happen.

In addition to having a disaster plan and emergency kit ready to go, it is recommended that those who live in earthquake-prone areas download an application on their mobile devices to receive warnings on when a temblor can occur. Some apps can warn users up to a minute before an earthquake will strike and every second counts when it comes to disasters, so such a warning could potentially be life-saving.

Photos: What to Keep in Your Disaster Emergency Kit

Since many students are still distance learning, they may not get the opportunity to practice earthquake drills in school as they normally would. For that reason, families are encouraged to practice together and discuss what plans they have for when disaster strikes.

County leaders will hold a news conference at 9 a.m. Thursday to discuss and demonstrate the significance of earthquake preparedness.

For more information on ShakeOut drills, click here.

Residents across California, including San Diego, will take part in the Great Shakeout Thursday as part of an international day aimed at reminding people to always be prepared for that next big earthquake. NBC 7's Audra Stafford shares some quake preparedness tips.
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