Thousands of British Columbians in classrooms, offices and homes across the province participated in a live earthquake drill on Thursday morning, at 10:19 a.m.

More than 880,000 people registered for this year's Great BC ShakeOut and many more were expected to participate in the "Drop, Cover, Hold On" practice, said event organizer and spokesperson Emily Dicken.

"We're really just hoping to inform the public that earthquakes do happen in B.C.," she told CBC host of The Early Edition Rick Cluff.

"When an earthquake does happen, they will know what to do and will hopefully take the appropriate action as opposed to putting themselves in greater risk."

If an earthquake strikes, or when practicing in a drill, people should drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or interior wall away from windows and try to stay protected from falling debris until the shaking stops, Dickens said.

Definitely don't try to run, Dicken said, and wait a full minute after the earthquake has ended before moving to ensure that no more debris is falling.

CBC meteorologist and seismologist Johanna Wagstaffe emphasized thinking ahead and preparing.

"It's really important to think about where you might be in a given day, in a given week, and think about what you might do in all of these different locations," she said.

Having an earthquake kit and a set plan on how to reconnect with family afterwards is crucial, she said.

Wagstaffe was part of CBC Vancouver's Fault Lines podcast, which takes listeners through much more detail of what will happen following the "Big One" and how to prepare. Her book based on the podcast comes out the week of Oct. 23.

Wagstaffe will be answering people's questions about earthquakes and seismology all day on Twitter. To ask a question, tweet her at @JWagstaffe or @cbcnewsbc with the hashtag #ShakeOutBC. 

The ShakeOutBC drill will be broadcast on CBC Radio One at 10:19 a.m. on Oct. 19, 2017 with instructions on what to do during an earthquake.  

With files from The Early Edition.