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Great Shake Out Earthquake Test Took Place Thursday

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Sonora, CA– In a preparedness exercise, the Tuolumne County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) collaborated with TCARE and local ham radio operators in their Operational Area for the California Great Shake Out EarthquakeComms Test. The test took place Thursday at 10:19 a.m. and was conducted at the Tuolumne County Emergency Operations Center at 18440 Striker Court.

The exercise simulated a mock disaster scenario that disrupts communication networks across the county. The primary goal is to assess the communication capabilities of ham radio operators in delivering vital information to affected communities. The EOC initiated the exercise with the message, “THIS IS A DRILL……Calling all operators in Tuolumne County. We have been activated at the Tuolumne County Emergency Operations Center. Tuolumne County has suffered a major earthquake, and all normal communications, such as landlines and cell towers, are not operational at this time.”

In the event of an earthquake, individuals are advised to take immediate action:

  1. DROP to the ground, getting onto their hands and knees to minimize the risk of being knocked over or struck by falling objects.
  2. COVER their head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, they should crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is available, they should move next to an interior wall.
  3. HOLD ON until the shaking ceases. Those under shelter should hold on to it with one hand and be prepared to move with it if it shifts. Those with no shelter should hold on to their head and neck with both arms and hands.

The operators are asked to provide specific information:

  • Location, including street address, town, or community.
  • Availability of power at their location.
  • Details about the extent of damage in their area.
  • Communication with first responders, fire, law enforcement, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), and Neighborhood Watch.

The participants were thanked for their involvement in the drill, and additional information about earthquake preparedness can be found at