FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Memphis, TN (January 24, 2013) — In two weeks, communities in nine states will take part in the third annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut multi-state earthquake drill, coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). The ShakeOut is scheduled for February 7, 2013 at 10:15a.m. During the drill, millions of people simultaneously practice the recommended response to earthquake shaking, or Drop, Cover, and Hold On:
- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
- HOLD-ON to it until the shaking stops
Scientists estimate that there is a 25-40% probability of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within a 50 year window of time. The ShakeOut is designed to help individuals and communities get ready for these earthquakes, practice how to protect themselves, and to prevent disasters from becoming catastrophes. Currently, states participating in the ShakeOut include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
February 7 is also the anniversary of the last of the powerful New Madrid earthquakes, a series of at least three magnitude 7-8.0 quakes that struck the region in the winter of 1811-12. 200 years ago, the region was sparsely populated and there was very little infrastructure. Centered in northeastern Arkansas and the Bootheel of Missouri, the earthquakes of 1811-12 destroyed the town of New Madrid, Missouri, created Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee, and were felt as far away as Washington, D.C. Were they to happen today, these earthquakes would cause injuries and loss of life, in addition to widespread damage and disruption to the nation’s economy and built environment.
During the self-led ShakeOut drill, participants perform a variety of disaster safety activities, including:
- Practicing Drop, Cover, and Hold On
- Testing emergency plans or procedures
- Updating disaster supply kits
- Securing items that may fall or cause injury during an earthquake, and much more
Interested citizens, schools, communities, businesses, etc. are encouraged to visit www.shakeout.org/centralus to pledge their participation in the drill. On the website, many resources are available for participants to use during the ShakeOut drill including:
- Drill Manuals
- Audio and Video Drill Broadcasts
- Earthquake Scenarios and more
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of partners.