What to Know
- The Great ShakeOut of 2019 is scheduled for 10:17 a.m. on Thursday
- An estimated 65 million people are set to participate worldwide
- The drill comes with memories still fresh of jarring back-to-back July 4 and 5 earthquakes in the Kern County
Three months after Southern California was jolted by its largest earthquake in two decades, it's time again to drop, cover and hold on.
The Great ShakeOut of 2019 is scheduled for 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, 30 years after the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake shook the San Francisco Bay area. More than 4.6 million people in Southern California and 10.7 million throughout the state have signed up to participate in the annual earthquake safety event.
An estimated 65 million people are set to participate worldwide.
U.S. & World
The drill comes with memories still fresh of the real things -- jarring back-to-back July 4 and 5 earthquakes near the Kern County community of Ridgecrest. The quakes' origins were about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, but shaking from the magnitude-6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes was felt throughout the region.
Waves of frightening aftershocks rattled residents in the weeks that followed.
The earthquakes were the strongest in Southern California since the 1999 Hector Mine Earthquake. Centered in the desert east of Los Angeles, the quake measured magnitude-7.1.
No fatalities or major injuries were reported after the 7.1-magnitude Independence Day quake, which rocked an area from Sacramento to Mexico. The quake struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, the same area where a 6.4-magnitude temblor hit the previous day.
So, what's the goal of Thursday's Shakeout?
The drill, which began in Southern California in 2008, is designed to practice emergency preparedness for a magnitude-7.8 or larger quake along the southernmost stretch of the infamous San Andreas Fault. Such a powerful tectonic shift could produce waves of movement for hundreds of miles for more than four minutes.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the death toll would like number 2,000 with tens of thousands suffering injuries. Damage would total around $200 billion.
The energy released would be 50 times the intensity of the Jan. 17, 1994, Northridge Earthquake. Residents could expect hundreds of aftershocks, a few of which would be nearly as big as the original quake, according to the USGS.
Californians should be prepared to be self-sufficient for 72 hours following a major disaster. First responders will not be able to get to everyone in the early stages of a major disaster. Being prepared includes having a disaster emergency plan with a first-aid kit, medications, food and enough water for each member of a household to drink one gallon per day, according to local and state officials.
Homeowners and renters should also know how to turn off the gas in their residences in case of leaks.