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Southern California held the first safety drill in 2008 based on a fictional magnitude-7.8 event on the southern San Andreas Fault. The entire state participated the following year, and the exercise since has spread around the world.

“It’s not looking at earthquakes as doom and gloom,” organizer Mark Benthien said. “It’s all about what we’re going to do as a community to be prepared so that when there’s an earthquake, we’ll get back on our feet and recover.”