Scores of students, teachers and other school staff will drop, cover and hold Thursday as part of the Great California ShakeOut.
The event will involve millions of Californians who will practice for a big quake by crawling under desks, filing out to athletic fields and parking lots, and simulating injuries.
Local campuses will join in the coordinated exercise alongside hospitals, police and fire departments, businesses and other agencies.
The shakeout is sponsored by a group of scientific and emergency planning and response agencies, from the U.S. Geological Survey to the California Emergency Management Agency and FEMA.
All public and private schools in California are required to have two earthquake drills each school year, in the fall and spring. They are also expected to have at least three days’ worth of water, medical supplies and other goods to support students and staff in case an earthquake cuts campuses off from resources.
Officials have posted on www.shakeout.org a list of manuals, guidebooks and other resources to help schools, businesses and households prepare for a big quake.