California prepares for the 'big one' with natural disaster drill

Today at 10:19am, 20 million Americans and nearly 140-thousand Montanans will participate in and practice how to drop, cover and hold on.

Participants in the annual drill in Washington and and beyond dropped, took cover and held on.

According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM), 1.7 million people in the southeast and are registered to participate.

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Participants typically practice how to ride out an quake by dropping to their hands and knees, getingt under a sturdy object or next to an interior wall and holding on until the shaking stops.

Californians have practiced the "drop, cover and hold on" drill aimed at keeping them safe during the violent shaking of earthquakes. "Practicing helps you be ready to respond".

The exercise has since expanded to encompass all of California and most other states, as well as some other countries, including Canada and Japan.

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Local schools, businesses and government workers will be participating in the ShakeOut which started in 2008 and is created to make sure everyone knows what to do when the next quake strikes. The drill is meant to get people thinking about how to prepare for a major quake or other disaster.

Seismologists regard it as one of the most potentially risky natural disaster regions in the country. Survival kits - stocked with water, food and a radio, among other items - can be crucial after a major temblor.

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