BAKERSFIELD, CALIF — The 'Great ShakeOut Day,' is an awareness campaign to let people know what to do during an earthquake and to encourage earthquake preparedness through safety drills.
Every year on Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. across the United States the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Red Cross officials encourage communities to participate and learn the simple, but critical safety steps to preparing for and staying safe during an earthquake.
The Great ShakeOut is the largest earthquake drill worldwide and over 65 million people registered to practice their earthquake safety plans ahead of Oct. 17 according to FEMA.
Emergency relief officials encouraged everyone to 'Drop, Cover, and Hold On,' to highlight the importance of staying prepared.
"We did stop at 10:17 at my encouragement and we all got underneath the tables and practiced drop, cover and hold on," Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Megin Hughes said.
This is also the first day of the earthquake early warning alerts that will now be publicy available across California, to help give people time to protect themselves from harm.
The warnings are produced by the ShakeAlert system that will be pushed through two delivery systems: A cellphone app called called 'Myshake' and the same wireless notification system that issues Amber Alerts, meaning people may have received both notifications.
The system does not predict earthquakes but rather it uses numerous seismic stations to detect the start of an earthquake and light-speed communications.
The system then sends the data to computers that instantly calculate location, magnitude, intensity of shaking and creates alerts to be distributed to areas that will be affected.
If you would like to download the app you can click here.
"Download the app MyShake, millions of people do that we will have points of contact, the ability to crowd source information the likes of which no country in the world has advanced," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.