Bay Area prepares for the big one with statewide earthquake drill 

click to enlarge Bay Area residents are expected to participate in a statewide earthquake drill Thursday at 10:20 a.m. (Courtesy photo) - BAY AREA RESIDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN A STATEWIDE EARTHQUAKE DRILL THURSDAY AT 10:20 A.M. (COURTESY PHOTO)
  • Bay Area residents are expected to participate in a statewide earthquake drill Thursday at 10:20 a.m. (Courtesy photo)
  • Bay Area residents are expected to participate in a statewide earthquake drill Thursday at 10:20 a.m. (Courtesy photo)

More than 8.5 million Californians will be refilling emergency  kits, ducking under tables or standing in doorways as they participate in the largest earthquake drill the world has ever seen Thursday morning, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said.

The Great California ShakeOut is organized by the Earthquake Country Alliance and "continues to grow as the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history," FEMA said.

"Californians have a strong tradition of practicing earthquake safety and have set a great example for the rest of us about how to prepare for disasters," FEMA Regional Administrator Nancy Ward said. "The ShakeOut drill is a great way to get you ready for emergencies and connect with those who are also at risk for an earthquake."

More than 1.3 million Bay Area residents are expected to participate in the drill at 10:20 a.m., including private businesses, school districts and city offices.

BART will stop all trains for about one minute at 10:21 a.m.

Hayward City Hall will be hosting a community event in honor of the statewide drill. Earlier that morning, the city will hold sessions on how to retrofit homes and equip a preparedness kit, city officials said.

All San Francisco Unified School District sites will also be participating, with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee participating at William Cobb Elementary School, the school district said.

Marin General Hospital will be hosting Northern California's only "Quake Cottage," a mobile earthquake simulator that demonstrates how an 8.0-seismic event would feel, hospital officials said.

People can register to participate at www.Shakeout.org.

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