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Students raise the magnitude of the state 'ShakeOut'


INDIO, Calif. - At 10:18 Thursday morning, about 9 million people took part in the Great California ShakeOut.  Students in the Coachella Valley ducked and covered during what's become an important earthquake and emergency preparedness event.

People, especially children, really took this drill seriously.

A loudspeaker announced the start of the earthquake drill at area schools.

Cristian Franco is a 5th grader at Kennedy Elementary School and participated in the event.

"Everybody has to drop, cover and hold on," said Franco

Lilly Villagrana, a 4th grader, says, "You go like that on the floor and hold on to the desk."

"If you don't, you might get hurt," advises Reyna Buenrostro, a 5th-grade participant.

Once the pretend shaking stopped, everyone evacuated.

Yulissa Ortiz, a freshman at Cathedral City High School, says, "We come out from under our desks and line up out here and make sure everyone is all right."

At Kennedy Elementary School in Indio, the Tremor Troop, as they are known, took action.  

"My role is to get the children and give them back to their parents," said Villagrana.

"If there are parents there that gives us notes then we can go pick up each child from the room," said Franco.

These students are a part of the club that learns how to help during an emergency.

Ann Morales, the principal  at Kennedy Elementary School, says, "They know who they are they know what their jobs are."

At Cathedral City High School, students set up a makeshift triage center for anyone who may have been injured in the earthquake.

Karen Dimick, the vice principal at CCHS, says, "We at Cathedral City High School take it to another level."

After the quake, assigned teachers go room by room making sure no one needs help.  A teacher found this volunteer freshman with a large gash in her leg.  It was made from elaborate make-up that organizers hope will make the drill as real as possible.

Janira Aguirre, who acted as a pretend victim, says, "It's kind of scary because even though its not real its kind of scary how the injury looks so real."

A transport team took the injured to a group of students who are trained in first aid.

"It's not just a duck and cover drill," explained Dimick.

Karina Relaio, a senior on Teen Cert, explained what she was doing, "I'm putting a sling on his arm.  He hasn't gotten an X-ray, so we don't know yet if he has a broken arm or not so, just to make sure we would want his arm close to his body."

Dimick says, "They are here to assess the injuries."

The idea is practice makes perfect.

"They all have a role they are all leaders on this campus and we all need to be clear on what to do in case of a real emergency," said Dimick.

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