RENO, NV - October 17th is the official day for the Great Nevada Shakeout, but Thursday the 10th, schools were practicing early.
The drills are similar to the ones most people did in grade school, but these days some of the teachings are different.
"It's not acceptable to run outside, That's very dangerous in fact," said Graham Kent with the University of Nevada Seismo Lab.
Research shows exterior walls could peel away from the building, crushing people nearby.
"Kids, we teach them the duck, cover and hold method," said Tracy Moore, Washoe Schools Emergency Manager.
"You really have about a 10-15 foot radius that you can get to, to get underneath before the strong shaking occurs," Graham Kent.
As soon as you feel shaking, duck down and protect your head; next you'll want to find the cover of a desk or sturdy piece of furniture. Experts say you need to hold on during an earthquake because the furniture you're under could slide away because the earth is shaking so much.
Once the immediate danger has passed, it's time to leave the building before aftershocks do any more damage.
"My teachers have a card system. A colored card system and it tells me where the students are. If they have all their students or if we have a missing student," said the school's principal.
It's all good preparation because the big one is probably sooner than most think.
"We get three magnitude 7 earthquakes about every century," said Kent.
It's been about 60 years since one of those has happened in this area.