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Ready to rock and roll? Great California Shakeout calls attention to earthquake preparedness

Photo by Shefali Lincoln/Unsplash
The California Shakeout is October 21 at 10:21 a.m. It's a statewide earthquake drill which tries to get people thinking about quake preparedness.

Free early warning apps available for smartphones which can tell you when shock waves from major quake are on way.

What would happen if California is hit by “The Big One” today? Are you ready for a major earthquake?

The State Office of Emergency Services is holding the annual “Great California Shakeout” Thursday. It’s a statewide earthquake drill at 10:21 a.m., with thousands of schools, businesses, and other organizations taking part.

"It's for folks to practice the drop, cover and hold on technique," said Lori Nezhura, the Deputy Director of Planning, Preparedness and Prevention for the State Department of Emergency Services. "You might only get moments of advance notice, or you might feel shaking if you are at the epicenter."

She says one thing you can do to prepare is get the “My Shake App” for your smartphone, which taps into seismographs to tell you a major quake is on the way.

She says you can download the app for free if you have an iPhone, and it may already be on your phone if you have an android.

Metrolink is testing the U.S. Geological Survey version of the idea, called Shakealert, as a way of stopping its trains when a major quake occurs.

"Metrolink is piloting the use of a new technology which will help insure the safe, and rapid slowing and stopping of trains in an earthquake," said Paul Gonzales, a spokesman for Metrolink.

Gonzales says the idea is to phase in use of the technology to all of Metrolink’s trains operating in five Southern California Counties, including Ventura County.

Depending on where a quake occurs, the system might allow a moving train to slow down, or even come to a full, and safe stop.

More information on the Great California Shakeout.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.