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Earthquake preparedness 101

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Just weeks ago, the hundreds of quakes that shook and shattered parts of Brawley served as a big eye opener for many southern Californians.

"Those small earthquakes are actually the wake up call to basically motivate people to prepare," Dr. Robert Degroot from the Southern California Earthquake Center said.

However, opened eyes mean nothing if they just eventually close again.

"A few days past, and people put it in the back of their head again," Michaeleen Gallagher of Sunnylands Center and Gardens said.

Sunnylands Center and Gardens held an earthquake preparedness event, reminding people about the upcoming Great California Shakeout -- and urging them to finally get prepared. Here's your one stop shop to get ready for "the big one".

Your emergency bag should include:
-First Aid Kit
-bottled water
-snack food
-spare eye glasses or contacts and solution
-emergency cash (ATMs might not work)
-copies of drivers license
-road maps
-personal hygiene supplies
-whistle (to alert rescuers to your location)

Sixth grade students from the John F. Kennedy Math and Science Magnet School who study earthquakes had a table telling people what to do if a quake hits when you are just about anywhere.

"If you're on the stairs, you need to sit down on one of the staircases, even at the top, to be sure you won't fall down," sixth grader Vanessa Mendivil said.

"Say you're in your bedroom, you're in bed, try to put your pillow over you so if something falls, say you have a light on your ceiling, it won't be as bad as if you're not covered," sixth grader Yenel Henriquez said.

Of course, get your pets prepared as well. You know to have water and a few days worth of their food packed, but don't forget these tips also.

"We also recommend for people to have their rabies certificate. If you don't have this, and you do want to take your dog to a shelter, they won't let you in," Diana Martinez of Animal Samaritans said. "We do recommend a picture of your dog as well, in case you have to go around and say 'This is my dog.'"

So now all you need to do is grab a bag and grab a half hour.

"I think people need to set aside a day every year to decide when they're going to put together their safety kit, or check on their safety kit. Stuff goes bad after a certain amount of time. The day people might choose is the Shakeout Day this year. It's on October 18th at 10:18 am. 10-18 at 10:18," Degroot said.

So the next time the valley shakes, you can stand your ground.

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