LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – For the thirteenth year in a row, residents of Los Angeles County and across California took part in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.

At Thursday morning at 10:21AM, the drill called for all participants to stop what they’re doing for one minute and “drop, cover and hold on.”

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A statement from Southern California Earthquake Center posted on ShakeOut.org said, “What we do to prepare now, before the next big earthquake, will determine how well we can survive and recover.”

During last year’s virtual ShakeOut drill, over 6.5 million California residents were registered to take part in the event. This year, more than a million will join that number.

Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed the sentiment of the SCEC, “As Californians, it’s critical that we know what to do and take steps to be prepared before, not after, an earthquake strikes… Here in Los Angeles, we’ve made resilience a priority, retrofitting our most vulnerable buildings and delivering earthquake early warning to protect Angelenos’ lives and property.”

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The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that there is a 31% chance that an earthquake of a 7.5 magnitude or higher will hit Los Angeles within the next few decades. The Great ShakeOut is designed to prepare Californians for an earthquake of that measure and emphasize precautions that would need to be taken should an earthquake that big occur.

Officials with the U.S. Geological Survey have also estimated that in that event, California would face catastrophe – approximately 2,000 people would die, with tens of thousands more injured and more than $200 billion in damages to buildings and land in Los Angeles alone.

They warned that residents should know how to turn off the gas to their home in case of leaks, and should be prepared to be self-sufficient for no less than 72 hours after – prepped with at least a first-aid kit, medication, food and water.

The American Red Cross added that Californians should avoid doorways and find cover and hold onto a table or a sturdy piece of furniture during an earthquake. Those who are outside should drop to the ground and avoid any buildings or tall structures including street lights, power lines and trees. They added that motorists should find a safe place to pullover in the instance that they are driving during an earthquake, avoiding bridges, power lines and overpasses.

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