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Cambrian to lead disaster drill

Cambria geophysicist Lou Blanck is leading a rehearsal of this county’s response to emergencies in the first “Great California ShakeOut” on Thursday.

He’s also the lead contact for Santa Barbara, Monterey and San Benito county participation in the event, and helped recruit participation in all four counties.

It’s the Earthquake Country Alliance’s dry run of how people should respond to a major temblor or other disaster.

Millions of Californians are expected to practice how to be safer: “Drop, cover and hold on.” A tsunami drill will follow about five minutes later.

Official exercises are planned at some area hospitals and other agencies.

In a quake, according to www.shakeout.org, people should:

• Drop to the ground (before the earthquake drops you).



• Take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table.



• Hold on to it until the shaking stops.



In a tsunami, people in low-lying areas should go to higher ground as soon as the shaking stops, taking with them essential papers, money, credit cards, medicines and other valuables.

All of the above should be kept within easy reach of one another, because there’s little time to spare in a tsunami alert, as the people of the Samoan islands discovered on Sept. 29.

Schools, agencies, organizations, cities, counties, businesses and others were encouraged to register on the ShakeOut Web site, and then plan their own activities to coincide with the statewide public drill.

Individuals were urged to participate as well by registering, reading updated information, going through the drill and making sure they’re ready for emergencies that could leave them with a damaged home or workplace and no readily available services.

More than 16,000 people from San Luis Obispo County had registered as of last week.

QUAKE DRILL THURSDAY

Go to www.shakeout.org, or contact geophysicist Lou Blanck of Cambria at 203-5022, earthdesign@charter.net or info@shakeout.org for details. The Web site includes links to maps showing risks for earthquakes and tsunamis.

The first “Great California ShakeOut” preparedness drill is set for at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday.

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