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California Shakeout drill today tested emergency communications

'Duck, cover and hold on' earthquake prep events to take place across Palo Alto, state

On the 21st anniversary of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, at 10:21 a.m., the earth again rumbled -- at least theoretically. A citywide disaster-preparations drill took place at local schools and activated the countywide AlertSCC messaging system today.

The alert system tested communications with the city's block-preparedness coordinators and neighborhood-prep coordinators. It did not activate to the general public, according to Lydia Kou, co-chair of the Palo Alto Neighborhoods (PAN) block-preparedness committee.

Stanford University radio station KZSU also ran a test of its emergency alert system, she said.

Linda Clerkson, City of Palo Alto communications manager, said the city is also commemorating the earthquake's anniversary with a public-awards event at city hall at 7 p.m.

The event will heighten public awareness of the need to be prepared for disaster and will honor 12 people who have made contributions to the city's emergency preparedness. The event is open to the public.

Nearly 7 million people statewide took part in the event last year. More information on the shakeout and earthquake preparedness can be found at www.shakeout.org.

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