Great ShakeOut: Alarms to sound at 10:17 a.m. on October 17 to promote earthquake preparedness

CLEVELAND - Don't be surprised when an earthquake drill sounds Thursday at 10:17 a.m. That's because it's Oct. 17, or 10/17 - time for the Great ShakeOut.

It started as the Great California ShakeOut in 2008, but now the annual earthquake drill has gone worldwide.

More than 24 million people, including 9 1/2 million in California, have signed up to duck under their desks at 10:17 a.m., cover their heads and hold on to something sturdy, The Associated Press reported.

Schools, police and fire departments around the globe are dusting off emergency response plans to be prepared for the worst.

There have been six recorded earthquakes this year in our state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. There were four last year. More information about Ohio's earthquake history is available at the Great ShakeOut website here .

In the heat of the moment, don't forget these three potentially life-saving steps:

1. Drop to the ground

2. Take cover under a table or desk

3. Hold on until the shaking stops

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