Hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents were among the millions of Californians who participated in a statewide earthquake preparedness drill today. Participants in “The Great California ShakeOut” were encouraged to “drop, cover and hold on” at 10:15 a.m. The drill was roughly timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake on Saturday. Roughly 400 elementary, middle and high school students took part in the drill at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose this morning, museum spokesman Roqua Montez said. The students, separated into three areas of the museum including the cafeteria, dropped and covered as a recorded voice from the U.S. Geological Survey dictated instructions, Montez said. The San Jose Sharks mascot “Sharkie” led the drill, and San Jose Police Chief Rob Davis participated, as did San Jose Fire Chief Darryl Von Raesfeld and Matthew Bettenhousen, acting secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, Montez said. Students also learned how to create an emergency kit. In addition to flashlights, batteries, non-perishable food, bottled water and first aid supplies, Montez said items should include money and a whistle. The Tech Museum spokesman pointed out that in a disaster even technology can fail, including credit card scanners and cell phones. A credit card can be useless in a disaster, he said. “Chances are it will not be able to be scanned so you need to put cash in that bag,” he said. Whistles allow victims of a disaster to draw attention to themselves if they are stuck with a non-functioning cell phone. More than 6.8 million Californians and 1 million Bay Area residents had signed up to participate in the event statewide, according to the Great California ShakeOut Web site. Copyright © 2009 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. Copyright © 2009 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.