Valley residents take part in Great ShakeOut

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Nearly 10 million Californians dove under desks and tables Thursday for the Great Shakeout.  The annual earthquake survival drill helps teach what do to in the event of the big one.  In the Coachella Valley, not only did kids in schools and parents at work participate, but for the first time ever the Sunnylands joined in.

"This is an earthquake drill, right now drop, cover and hold on," said a loud speaker at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage. 

Right at 10:17 in the morning, students at schools all over California put down their pencils, dropped to the floor, went under their desks, and held on.  


"Keep our head covered and keep your body away from any objects that might fall on you," explain 5th grader Zach Chasen. 

Once the all clear was given, students evacuated onto a football field. 

"It's not to be scared, it's about being prepared and feeling comfortable and knowing what to do," said Rancho Mirage emergency preparedness chair Marcia Stein.

Zach Chasen says he knows what to do. 

"We go under our desks and practice for a real earthquake, so we do an earthquake drill," said Chasen. 

It's a skill Zach put to use last year when an earthquake hit during school hours. 

"It was short but you could definitely could feel something," said Chasen. 

"We want our kids to be trained and prepared incase an emergency happens," said Peter Kulevich at Palm Valley School. 

That's why over 24 million people all over the world dropped, covered and held on. 

"People don't realize how important it is to prepare for an earthquake, they keep talking about it, we've heard a lot about it the earthquake coming but the truth is it certainly may happen and will happen eventually in the Coachella Valley," said Stein. 

Sunnylands also participated, teaching visitors and staff what to do in an emergency as well as the science behind the shaking

"We are public facility so it could happen while we have people on grounds," said Sunnyland director of education programs Michaeleen Gallagher. 

"It's very easy to find kits for emergency preparedness they sell them everywhere and that is great, making sure you have fresh water, and changing that water out, more important it's great that you know what do to," said Stein.

When quick action can save lives, practice makes perfect.

For information on how to put an earthquake kit together and more about the great shake out click here.

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