Californians prepare for annual 'ShakeOut' natural disaster drill

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The Great ShakeOut drill in Virginia is coordinated by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners.

The drill - officially called the 2017 Great California Shakeout - also saw emergency personnel practice response strategies outside the city's Natural History Museum.

The Great Washington ShakeOut, the state's largest natural disaster drill, was held at 10:19 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19. Run outside? Or drop, cover and hold on? Participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups and organizations.

Dark skies mean good Orionid meteor shower viewing
Oh.and get wishing for some clear skies, of course. "We are in an optimal day to see it so we are just after the new moon". The National Weather Service says the best time to watch in the Philadelphia area will be in the predawn hours Saturday .

A study by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2014 found that the probability of Southern California experiencing a magnitude-6.7 quake or stronger by 2043 is 72 percent.

"It's a drill today, but tomorrow it may be real", said Mayor Eric Garcetti - a point proved in Mexico, where a drill was carried out hours before a deadly 7.1 magnitude quake killed 369 people in September. "The real important thing about Shakeout is developing the muscle memory to do the right thing when the ground is shaking, and the right thing is to basically not move".

Participants include more than 6 million K-12 students and almost 2 million people at colleges and universities as well as governments, businesses, faith-based organizations and individuals.