FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Memphis, TN (February 6, 2013) – On Thursday at 10:15 a.m., millions of people throughout nine states are expected to participate in the third annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, which is hosted by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC). The ShakeOut is a multi-state earthquake drill in which participants 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
Thursday 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.
Scientists estimate that there is a 25-40% probability of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within any 50 year window of time. The ShakeOut is designed to help individuals and communities in the region 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.
During the self-led ShakeOut drill, participants perform a variety of 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
It is not too late for people to sign up to participate in the ShakeOut. To do so, simply visit shakeout.org/centralus
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 their drills including drill manuals, videos, audio drill broadcasts, earthquake scenarios, and more.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central US Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and dozens of other partners.