BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Today at 10:21 a.m., students at Patriot Elementary will stop whatever they’re doing, drop to the floor and duck under their desks.
No, we’re not predicting an earthquake. The Great Shakeout is just a drill — but it’s a big one, with more than 30 million participants worldwide, and 7 million here in California.
Patriot Elementary principal Ramiro Canales says with the unpredictable nature of earthquakes, drills like today’s help put himself and his staff at ease.
“It’s not something that, you know, you can plan for it, but you don’t necessarily know when exactly it’s going to occur,” Canales said. “To have these drills is extremely important, just to have everybody prepared for just in case we have an earthquake.”
At Patriot, after ducking and covering, students will meet on the grass fields, away from any buildings or tall trees.
It’s days like today that help mitigate the impact of quakes like the 2019 Ridgecrest quakes, which reached as high as 7.1 on the Richter scale but killed no one in Kern County.
The kids at Patriot know about the drill, and Principal Canales says there’s a range of emotions, from anticipation to outright excitement.
The Great Shakeout runs preparedness programming from individuals and families to businesses. To get involved, head to www.shakeout.org/california for more information.