Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

Scientists predict that Del Norte County is due for a catastrophic earthquake any day.

That makes it all the more important for Del Norters to know how to protect themselves in an earthquake, and the 2013 Great California Shakeout taking place on Thursday is the perfect time to practice.

On Oct. 17, more than 17 million people will participate in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills, practicing "drop, cover and hold on."

"It's very important for people to participate in Del Norte County, because it really builds brain memory," said Cindy Henderson, Del Norte County Emergency Services Manager. "Talking about drop, cover, and hold on is one thing, but doesn't really become instinct or second-nature until you really practice it. When there's a real event, we need it to be an instinct, so you instantly duck, cover and hold on."

The official shakeout drill is scheduled for 10:17 a.m. on Oct. 17. Wherever participants are at that moment, they should "drop, cover and hold on" for at least 60 seconds, and act as if a real earthquake was shaking the ground right then.

To register to participate for the event or for more information, visit

There are 6,651 individuals and organizations in Del Norte County that have registered to participate in this year's Shakeout, a few hundred short of last year's participants.

Henderson encouraged more Del Norters to register.

"It's very important for every one in Del Norte County to practice - it'll save your life," Henderson said.

Here are Shakeout's directions for what to do during an earthquake:

andbull; If you are inside a building, move no more than a few steps, then:

andndash; DROP to the ground before the earthquake drops you

andndash; Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table

andndash; HOLD ON to the desk or table until the shaking stops.

Stay indoors till the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. In most buildings in California you are safer if you stay where you are until the shaking stops.

andbull; If you are outdoors when the shaking starts, you should find a clear spot away from buildings, trees, streetlights, and power lines, then drop, cover and hold on. Stay there until the shaking stops.

andbull; If you are driving, pull over to a clear location, stop and stay there with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops. Once the shaking stops, proceed with caution and avoid bridges or ramps that might have been damaged.

Visit for more information.

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