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Sonoma County Will Join California's Biggest Earthquake Drill on Thursday

Participate in the Great California ShakeOut is scheduled for 10:18 a.m.

Millions of people will "drop, cover and hold on" during the Great California ShakeOut on Thursday, a statewide earthquake simulation that aims to raise awareness about how to prepare for a major quake. 

The ShakeOut will begin at 10:18 a.m., when participants across the state will practice what to do when an earthquake hits. More than 9 million people have registered to join the exercise so far.

Here are some ways to participate in the ShakeOut

The ShakeOut is intended to simulate the impact of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake originating from the southernmost area of the San Andreas Fault. Under this scenario, a tectonic shift would produce waves of movement for hundreds of miles over four minutes.

Sonoma County will be testing emergency plans and procedures during the Great ShakeOut. The Fire & Emergency Services Department has developed a functional Emergency Operations Center (EOC) training exercise for the County/Operational Area EOC and County disaster response partners. 

Approximately 60 county employees, representing many County departments will be participating in the exercise. Petaluma, Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa, along with the Sonoma County Junior College District, Sonoma County Water Agency, 2-1-1 Sonoma County, Red Cross, the Volunteer Center, Redwood Empire Schools Insurance Group, Sonoma County Office of Education and several local hospitals will all be participating on Oct. 18. 

The objective is to ensure EOCs are able to communicate, coordinate and respond after an earthquake. This exercise will be the capstone of the County's National Preparedness Month “Pledge to Prepare, Awareness to Action” campaign.

As part of this exercise, a series of preparedness messages will be released through the Sonoma County EOC Emergency Bulletin page, website, Facebook and Twitter feeds. These simulated messages are to ensure that public information is released from the EOC in coordination with our protocols and partners. These messages are being posted in lieu of actual emergency information that would be disseminated from the EOC in a real disaster.

Click here to register for this year's ShakeOut. Promote the exercise and earthquake preparedness using these resources.

Think you know what do when an earthquake strikes? Test your knowledge with this quiz. And see if you'd "Beat the Quake" here.

—Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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