LAUSD kids 'drop, cover, hold on' during Great ShakeOut earthquake drill

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Were you under a desk today? Then you probably took part in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.  One Los Angeles school practiced for “the big one” hit.

Caltech seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones was visiting a third grade class at Rosemont Elementary in Echo Park when an announcement came across the PA system that said: "Your attention, please. You are now experiencing some seismic activity. ”

At that point, the kids dropped to their knees and crouched under their desks. 

Jones instructed the kids to count until the practice quake was over. Counting during a real shaker would let them know how big it is.

Valerie Toloza, 8, did exactly what she was supposed to do.

“I was holding the table so it won’t shake up and down and won’t fall," Toloza said. "And I was covering my head so nothing falls on my head."

Earlier in the day, dozens of Rosemont students gathered in the auditorium to watch earthquake preparedness videos and hear from experts and city leaders. Officials reassured students that their school building, along with others throughout the state, are among the safest.

Mark Benthien of the Southern California Earthquake Center, agreed.  

“Even though [Rosemont's] an older building, it was built to a higher level of standards," Benthien said. "Not every concrete building is at risk because it has to do with how much steel is inside the concrete. You can’t just visually look.”   

The kids were praised for their good work during the drill. They were among about 9.5 million people across California who signed up to participate in the Great ShakeOut.

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