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Great Arizona Shakeout will prepare schools, more for emergency situation

A freeway collapsed during the Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area on Oct. 17, 1989

PHOENIX -- More than 100,000 Arizona schoolchildren and teachers will drop, cover and hold on Thursday morning in their classrooms.

At 10:17 a.m. the Great Arizona ShakeOut earthquake preparedness drill begins. Mike Conway with the Arizona Geological Survey said the training in the two-minute drill will last a lifetime.

"If you're traveling to San Diego or moving to Seattle, you're going to need to know what to do because you could encounter an earthquake."

While most people don't associate big quakes with Arizona (neighboring states are sites with big quakes), it's possible for the state to be hit with an earthquake up to magnitude 7.5.

"If California, Utah or Nevada get a big shaker then we're going to feel it here," Conway said.

During an earthquake the greatest immediate danger in most homes and buildings is from flying or falling items -- ceiling tiles and fans, furniture, pictures, lights, mirrors and other items. Lessons learned from the ShakeOut exercise can protect you, your family or students from serious injury.

Arizona joins California, Nevada, Oregon, and 24 other states in hosting ShakeOut events. Worldwide more than 17 million people will engage in ShakeOut.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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