On October 15, CUSEC and our Member and Associate States participated once again in the Great Central U.S.and SouthEast ShakeOut regional earthquake drills. The drills, which started in 2011 and 2012 respectively, engaged more than 5.5 million participants in 2015. Nationwide, over 43.5 million people will participate in some ShakeOut-related drill or activity during the calendar year.
As part of the ShakeOut, CUSEC participated in two events in St. Louis, Missouri. The first was a multi-state building inspector exercise and training event held at Jefferson Barracks. The event was hosted by the Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition, a volunteer organization that works under the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency to inspect buildings for safe occupancy following a disaster. At the event, close to 200 individuals participated in simulated deployment and field assessments. CUSEC debuted a new “Safety Assessment App” at the training. The app, which is smart-phone or tablet based, is designed to speed data collection for post-earthquake safety assessments and improve situational awareness for decision makers. Eight CUSEC States, the Missouri Air National Guard, Missouri Department of Transportation, and the Army Corp of Engineers participated in the event, which was the largest of its kind to date.
The second event, hosted by the St. Louis Science Center, was called “Rock, Fossil, Quake”. Organized by Senior Science Educator Brian Thomas, “Rock, Fossil, Quake” brought a slate of exhibitors, activities, and presentations to Science Center visitors, each with either a geology, paleontology/archaeology, or earthquake focus. CUSEC presented the QuakeCatcher Network, which is being installed in schools, museums, and other places in the region. Other earthquake-themed exhibitors and presenters included the US Geological Survey, the University of Missouri, the Southern California Earthquake Center, the New Madrid Historical Museum, and the Bootheel Youth Museum, who put on a special presentation of their skit, the “Three Little Pigs and their Cousin Shaken Bacon”. The event was one of the first collaborative efforts under the CUSEC EPIcenter program, which links together museums, science centers, libraries, and other free-choice learning institutions to partner to improve earthquake education in their communities.