According to the website,, over eight-and-a-half million Californians — families and individuals, schools, local, state and federal government agencies, tribes, businesses, non-profits, churches, preparedness organizations, and communities and neighborhood groups — participated in the fourth annual Great California ShakeOut which occurred at 10:20 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 20.

Idyllwild participation was light, limited primarily to Idyllwild School and several motivated residents.

In Riverside County, nearly 600,000 individuals and or organizations registered as participants. More than 450,000 participants were associated with schools or school districts and another 85,000 were associated with colleges and universities.

At Idyllwild School, as in other Hemet Unified School District schools, students participated in a 10-minute drill. Students and teachers dropped, covered and held.

Then, according to school Health Technician Melody Blaschko, a registered nurse, an alarm sounded after the shaking was deemed to have ceased.

Students and faculty marched to middle field, assembled by homeroom and then administrators and faculty conducted a full accounting of school students and staff.

Two Idyllwild locals, Dorothy Brooks and Scotty Mason individually registered to take part. But no other local camps, businesses, non-profits, churches, service organizations or preparedness groups registered on the ShakeOut website as participants. The Riverside County Fire Department was the only local fire unit registered.

Mountain Disaster Preparedness had conducted a well-attended “boots on the ground” earthquake drill on Sept. 10. Idyllwild Arts is planning a disaster drill for faculty, staff and students, but no date has yet been set, according to Darren Schilling, director of marketing.

Check the MDP website for earthquake preparedness tips at