Today at 10:00AM:
At exactly 10 a.m. [today], about 5 million people in Southern California will drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture and hold on at the same time. Radio stations and school p.a. systems will play a sound track of rumbling and crashing, along with a man's voice declaring, "If this were the magnitude 7.8 earthquake we're practicing for today, you would be experiencing sudden and intense back-and-forth motions of up to 6 ft. per second. The floor or the ground would jerk sideways out from under you. Look around and imagine."
If this sounds weird, it's because it is. The Great ShakeOut, as it's being dubbed, is the biggest public emergency drill in U.S. history - and as such, it is a radical idea. Normally, large-scale disaster drills, which happen weekly across the country, are designed for professional rescuers, emergency managers and politicians. Not for you, and not for me. In fact, the people who matter most in a real-world emergency - the neighbors, office workers and students who do the majority of the lifesaving during big disasters - are almost never invited.
Participant count is up to 5.2 million as of midnight last night. You can register here.
Drill practice video here (quicktime).
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