CUSEC News & Events
Following FEMA’s “National Preparedness Month” in September, individuals and communities throughout the Nation are encouraged to participate in the annual Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill. Held annually on the third Thursday of October, the ShakeOut International Day of Action is set for Thursday, October 20*. During the self-led drill, millions of people practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. For most people, in most situations, the recommended earthquake safety action is to:
According to CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson, “Preparedness and safety events such as Great ShakeOut Drills and National Preparedness Month provide citizens a great opportunity to learn how to protect themselves, their families, and businesses against earthquakes and other disasters.”
The ShakeOut is free and open to the public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups. To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate www.shakeout.org. Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.
In 2021 more than 15 million people participated in ShakeOut drills nationwide, with 30 million participants worldwide.
* Although millions will participate on October 20, you are welcome to participate any day of the year that works best for you. Your participation date can be noted on your ShakeOut registration form.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by CUSEC and our Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners. ShakeOut is coordinated globally by the Southern California Earthquake Center in Los Angeles, California.
Earthquake insurance can be a powerful tool for speeding and strengthening recovery after an earthquake, yet data show that uptake of residential earthquake insurance in the U.S. is very low. To address this issue, CUSEC and the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) are partnering to deliver an earthquake-insurance themed forum in Memphis, Tennessee on March 28, 2022.
The forum will bring together state emergency managers and insurance professionals to take a closer look at earthquake insurance, exploring its potential as a resilience tool and examining equity concerns and other challenges that have so far limited its role in financial preparedness. Because an important part of the preparedness equation is public awareness and action, the forum will also present research and messaging tools that can be used in earthquake education and outreach programs.
When: Monday, March 28, 2022 | 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT)
Where: Central Station Hotel, 545 S Main St., Memphis, TN 38103 (note: the venue is the same as the 2022 National Earthquake Program Managers (NEPM) meeting (March 29-31, 2022).*
Registration: Registration and additional information can be found on CREW’s website at: https://crew.org/eqinsuranceforum/
* The Minding the Gap forum will be a hybrid event — a live virtual attendance option will be available for those unable to attend in person.
Funding support for this event is provided by FEMA’s National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.
As earthquakes continue to occur on a daily basis in the central U.S.—with nearly 2,000 small tremors per year—CUSEC and emergency management officials in our Member States remind citizens and communities about the earthquake risk by designating February as Earthquake Awareness Month. During the month of February, CUSEC will be involved with several events (listed below, as they become available) intended to educate the public, private sector, first responders, and government officials.
February 3 – Facebook Live Stream Part 1: Earthquake Hazards & Safety
February 10 – Facebook Live Stream Part 2: Earthquake Preparedness and Financial Preparedness
February 11 – Tennessee SAVE Coalition Training
Also, February 7 is the anniversary of the last of the earthquakes that struck the central U.S. in the winter of 1811-12. According to the US Geological Survey:
This sequence of three very large earthquakes is usually referred to as the New Madrid earthquakes, after the Missouri town that was the largest settlement on the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and Natchez, Mississippi. On the basis of the large area of damage (600,000 square kilometers), the widespread area of perceptibility (5,000,000 square kilometers), and the complex physiographic changes that occurred, the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 rank as some of the largest in the United States since its settlement by Europeans.
While scientists say that there is a 7-10% probability of a re-occurrence of the 1811-12 earthquakes within any 50-year window, they also estimate that there is a 25-40% probability of a M6.0 or greater earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within the same period of time. About 200 earthquakes occur in the central U.S. every year-many of which go unnoticed. And while the primary focus remains on the NMSZ , it is not the only area of concern. Earthquakes are also occurring along the Wabash Valley and East Tennessee Seismic Zones and in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas.