February is Earthquake Awareness Month
February 2015 - As earthquakes continue to occur on a daily basis in the central U.S., CUSEC and emergency management officials in Arkansas, Illinois, and Missouri remind citizens and communities about the earthquake risk by designating February as Earthquake Awareness Month.
The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) is also working to promote earthquake preparedness among its residents. ADEM is observing Earthquake Awareness Week from February 8-14, and will offer several training opportunities. These include ATC-20 Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings training (in Russellville, Pine Bluff, and Jacksonville) and a FEMA P-767 Hospital Mitigation Training in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will observe Earthquake Awareness Month by hosting various activities throughout the State. Missouri has one of the longest-standing Earthquake Awareness Month programs in the Nation. Activities planned for the month include Missouri Seismic Safety Commission Meetings, S.A.V.E. Coalition Building Inspector Trainings, Safety and Preparedness Fairs, and more.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is also designating February as Earthquake Awareness Month, reminding citizens to take measures to prepare and mitigate against earthquakes before the next big one strikes.
While scientists say that there is only 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 our only area of concern. Earthquakes are also occurring along the Wabash Valley and East Tennessee Seismic Zones and in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas.
CAPSTONE-14 After-Action Report Released by CUSEC and DHS S&T
January 2015 - Following the CAPSTONE-14 exercise in June of this year, CUSEC has completed an exercise "After-Action Report"
(AAR). The report highlights lessons learned and successes from three
years of multi-state planning and preparedness activities coordinated by
CUSEC and our Member States. It also highlights recommendations that
are critical to advancing earthquake preparedness in the central U.S. The report, lessons learned, and recommendations can all be reviewed by downloading the AAR from: http://www.cusec.org/capstone14/documents/CAPSTONE-14_AAR.pdf
In addition to CUSEC's report, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate has released an After-Action Report. This document summarizes the Federal Governments role in the exercise, lessons learned, as well as several "operational leave-behinds" from the exercise. These leave-behinds were developed during (or for) the CAPSTONE-14 exercise and have been implemented in several CUSEC Member States following the exercise. You can download the DHS S&T AAR from: www.cusec.org/capstone14/documents/DHS_CAPSTONE_AAR.pdf
As we work to address the recommendations in the AAR, CUSEC would like to thank the many individuals, Local, State, and Federal Government organizations, and private sector partners who participated in the development and implementation of CAPSTONE-14. Their input and active participation in the years leading up to the exercise were the primary factor in making it a success. Please continue to monitor the CUSEC Website and our newsletter for updates on earthquake planning and preparedness initiatives in the central U.S.