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DHS First Responder Group to Host Webinar on CAPSTONE-14 Technology Lessons Learned
July 2014 - 450 counties in seven states shared over 13,000 reports of “essential elements of information” and 2,000 data layers with 2,500 people participating in the massive CAPSTONE-14 disaster exercise, led by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) and emergency management directors of eight member states. A webinar on July 24 @ 1pm ET will feature presentations by key exercise players from Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri and CUSEC. Webinar attendees will learn how to apply several successes and lessons learned to build capabilities for information sharing, situational awareness, and resource management.

The webinar is titled Applying Technologies to Enable Effective Decision-Making: Lessons Learned from CUSEC’s CAPSTONE-14 Earthquake Exercise and is part of the First Responders Group Capacity Building Webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the National Information Sharing Consortium. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits earned by participating in the event can be applied to the Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) and Geographic Information Specialist Professional (GISP) certifications. Pre-registration is not required. Login as a guest at or go to to learn more.

CAPSTONE-14 Multi-State Exercsie is June16-20
June 2014 - Next week, CUSEC Member, Associate, and supporting States will participate in CAPSTONE-14, a regional, multi-state exercise designed to test response and recovery capabilities following a major New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) earthquake.

In direct support of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD8), CAPSTONE-14 is the culmination of three years of planning and preparedness activities led by the CUSEC Board of Directors. It follows and builds upon lessons learned during the NMSZ Catastrophic Planning Initiative and National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE11), completing the full emergency management planning, training, and exercise cycle.  CAPSTONE-14  also serves as a regional and national model to the emergency management community by incorporating new technologies such as the Mutual Aid Support System (MASS), the Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (vBEOC), a regional Common Operating Picture (COP), and more. 

The National Information Sharing Consortium is working with the Dept. of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate to host a "Virtual VIP Day" during CAPSTONE-14.  VIP Day will last from 9:30AM to Noon Central Daylight Time.  To access it, visit on the designated date and time.  For more information on CAPSTONE-14 you can also visit the CAPSTONE-14 "portal" on the CUSEC website, where we have several pages of exercise-related information, notes, and archives.

Kentucky Governor Appoints new State Director
May 2014 - Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has appointed Michael Dossett as Director of Kentucky Emergency Management, effective June 1, 2014.  with his appointment as Emergency Management Director, Mr. Dossett will also serve as a member of the CUSEC Board of Directors.

"Michael Dossett is the right man at the right time for this job," said Gov. Beshear.  "Kentucky's emergency management team has a proven track record, putting it among the best in the nation.  I have full confidence that, under Mike's leadership, the safety and welfare of citizens of the Commonwealth are in good hands."

Mr. Dossett served as KYEM's Resource Management Logistics Chief and Regional Response Manager from 2009 - 2013.  As Director, Mr. Dossett will plan and direct disaster response and crisis management activities, provide disaster preparedness training, and prepare emergency plans and procedures for natural and man-made disasters within the Commonwealth.  Prior to working for KYEM, Mr. Dossett served as the Deputy Commissioner for Kentucky's Department of Juvenile Justice as an Assistant Chief of Police for Louisville Metro Police Department.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 14:54
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2007 CUSEC News Archives

CUSEC Saddened by the Loss of Close Friend and Colleague
November 2007- Jerry Thompson, 61, of Lamar, Indiana, passed away on Friday November 9, 2007. Jerry was the driving force behind the formation of the CUSEC Transportation Task Force.  He held the chairman's position of the group from 2000 until mid 2007. The Task Force is one of three associations which function under the CUSEC umbrella and it serves two purposes: to help facilitate closer interaction between state departments of transportation on issues related to emergency preparedness and to provide a central point for collaboration with other organizations on transportation issues related to both man-made and natural disasters having a regional impact. Jerry served more than 40 years with the Indiana Department of Transportation and his leadership, vision, and sense of humor will be greatly missed by all who knew him.  For more information, click here

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Events Calendar Print E-mail

July 2014
July 4 - Independence Day; CUSEC Closed
July 18 - Arkansas Governor's Earthquake Advisory Council Meeting; Jacksonville, Arkansas
July 21-25 - 10th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering; Anchorage, Alaska
July 24 - NISC CAPSTONE-14 Lessons Learned Webinar; Virtual
July 24 - FEMA74 Non-structural Earthquake Mitigation Training; Little Rock, Arkansas
July 25 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Training; Joplin, Missouri
July 28-29 - NEMA Public Information Officer Workshop; Memphis, Tennessee

August 2014
August 4-6 - 2014 HAZUS User Conference; Indianapolis, Indiana
August 8 - TNSAVE Planning Meeting; Nashville, Tennessee
August 15 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Training; Cape Girardeau, Missouri

September 2014
September 1-30 - National Preparedness Month
September 4 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Trianing; Columbia, Missouri
September 12 - Alabama Be Ready Day; Montgomery, Alabama
September 17 - Mid-South Association of Contingency Planners EPIC Conference; Memphis, TN
September 19 -
Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Trianing; Lake Ozark, Missouri
September 23 - Emergency Preparedness Academy; St. Louis, Missouri
September 26 -
Missouri S.A.V.E. Coalition Trianing; St. Louis, Missouri

Last Updated on Monday, 21 July 2014 15:31
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Workshop Registration Print E-mail

Welcome to the online registration portal for workshops, meetings, and conferences that are coordinated by CUSEC.  Please use the links below to find all related information for a particular event.  You will be able to register electronically or also have the option to print out a registration form and fax or mail it in.  In the event that you do not see the event you are looking for listed below, please call our office at (901) 544-3570 or send us an email.

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CUSEC Press Room Print E-mail

Latest news and information for the members of the media are posted here.  News releases are posted in reverse chronological order, for easy viewing. If you would like to schedule and interview or other media request, please call (901) 544-3570 or (800) 824-5817. 



August 25, 2014

CUSEC Taking Steps to Prepare for Earthquakes

June 10, 2014

CUSEC States to Conduct Large Scale Exercise from June 16-20, 2014

October 16, 2013

Earthquake Experts from New Zealand to Provide Lessons Learned

October 16, 2013

ShakeOut Drill to take place at the University of Memphis' Lipman School

October 15, 2013

Millions Nationwide will ShakeOut this Thursday

October 09, 2013

Central U.S. to ShakeOut in just One Week

October 09, 2013

SouthEast ShakeOut just One Week Away

September 10, 2013

CUSEC to Co-host Public Forum in Memphis, TN

August 23, 2013

"Great ShakeOut" Drill Set for October 17, 2013

August 23, 2013

Second Annual "Great ShakeOut" Drill Set for SouthEast Region

February 06, 2013

DeSoto Central Primary School to Host USGS Director during ShakeOut Drill

February 06, 2013

Millions to ShakeOut this Week in Central United States

February 05, 2013

ShakeOut to be held this Thursday

January 24, 2013

Great ShakeOut in Two Weeks

January 10, 2013

2013 Great Central U.S. Just One Month Away

October 11, 2012

Millions to ShakeOut on October 18

October 05, 2012

Call for Radio/TV to Transmit Drill Broadcast

October 02, 2012

Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Set for February 7, 2013

September 27, 2012

SouthEast ShakeOut TV and Radio Participation

September 06, 2012

September is National Preparedness Month

September 06, 2012

SouthEast ShakeOut and National Preparedness Month

August 23, 2012

8/23/11 Earthquake Anniversary and Media Event

July 18, 2012

SouthEast ShakeOut set for October 18, 2012

April 5, 2012

Memphis to Host National Earthquake Conference

September is National Preparedness Month Print E-mail

MEMPHIS, TN – September 1, 2012 marks the beginning of National Preparedness Month, an annual campaign coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help individuals and communities better prepare for disasters.   The Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) is pleased to partner with FEMA and nearly 15,000 other organizations as part of the “National Preparedness Coalition”.    In addition to recent disasters such as Hurricane Isaac, wildfires, and severe weather events around the nation, CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson notes that:

“In the last month there have been two major earthquakes, the M7.6 in Cost Rica on September 5, and M7.6 in the Philippines on August 31st – those could have just as easily occurred here in the central U. S. 

Are we ready for a damaging earthquake? Can more be done beforehand to reduce our vulnerability?  Taking an active part in National Preparedness Month and partnering with FEMA is a great way to get engaged and take action, because it’s a matter of when, not if, a disaster may strike.”

According to the White House Office of the Press Secretary, there has been a proclamation by President Barack Obama, encouraging all Americans to join the Preparedness Coalition and become better prepared for disasters.  According to the proclamation:

“During National Preparedness Month, we renew our commitment to promoting emergency preparedness in homes, businesses, and communities nationwide, and to building an America more ready and resilient than ever before.  Each of us has an important role to play in bolstering our preparedness for disasters of all types -- from cyber incidents and acts of terrorism to tornadoes and flooding. 

That is why my Administration is pursuing an approach to emergency management that engages the whole community -- from Federal, State, local, and tribal governments to the private sector, nonprofits, faith based organizations, and the general public.  I encourage all Americans to visit or to learn more about the risks facing their communities, find out what they can do to prepare, and join thousands of individuals from coast to coast by becoming a member of the National Preparedness Coalition.”

Also, in just over six weeks, individuals and communities throughout five states and the District of Columbia will practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” the recommended response in the event of an earthquake, during the first ever Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, October 18,  2012 at 10:18 a.m.   This regional earthquake drill follows on the heels of the one year anniversary of the August 23, 2011 M5.8 Mineral, Virginia earthquake.  Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are encouraging their schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities, and households to participate in this historic event.   CUSEC is honored to be the coordinating organization for the SouthEast ShakeOut, working to engage partners and participants in new ways of earthquake preparedness.

Since 2011, CUSEC has coordinated ShakeOut activities in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.  In 2012, more than 2.4 million participated in ShakeOut drills across those states.  The next Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is scheduled for February 7, 2013 at 10:15a.m.

The ShakeOut drill is designed to be easy to do and self-led, and primarily includes “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” drills held simultaneously at many different locations. This activity provides people and communities an opportunity to practice a simple, yet potentially lifesaving, action should an earthquake occur, as follows:

Drop to the ground

-  Take Coverunder a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck

Hold On until the shaking stops

National Preparedness Month and the Great SouthEast ShakeOut are your chance to practice what to do before an earthquake or disaster strikes in your community, and to learn how to get better prepared for a quick recovery.  To get started, visit, and pledge to have your family, school, business, or organization participate in the drill. Once registered, you will receive regular information on how to plan your drill and how to engage your community to become better prepared for earthquakes and disasters. 

To register for the ShakeOut, or for more information, visit

For more information on National Preparedness Month, visit, or


August 23, 2012 Marks One Year Anniversary of VA Earthquake Print E-mail

WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 23, 2012 marks the one year anniversary of the M5.8 earthquake that was centered in Louisa County, Virginia.  This quake was felt in nearly every state on the eastern coast of the U.S., and caused an estimated $200-300 million in damage.  This earthquake resulted in -

$75 million in damages in Louisa County, Virginia

Extensive damage to the National Cathedral (more than $15 million in damages)

Temporary closing of the Washington Monument (closed until 2014)

To commemorate the anniversary, CUSEC is pleased to partner with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Park Service (NPS) to hold a press conference at the Washington Monument.   This event comes on the heels of National Preparedness Month, an effort to engage the public in disaster preparedness activities.  At the press conference, senior government officials will discuss -

Lingering effects of the earthquake and progress made in rebuilding and recovery efforts

Current understanding of earthquake threat and likelihood of future events

Participation in a regional/national “ShakeOut” earthquake drill involving millions of people

Click here to download the full press release.

WHERE         Grassy area facing the Washington Monument in between 14th and 15th streets

WHEN           August 23, 2012 from 10:30AM - 11:00AM

WHO            Confirmed senior government officials speaking at this press conference include:

                    Brett Burdick, Deputy Director, Virginia Dept. of Emergency Management
                    Chris Geldart, Director, District of Columbia Homeland Security and EMA
                    Tim Manning, Deputy Administrator, FEMA
                    David L. Miller, Associate Administrator, FEMA
                    Marcia McNutt, Director, US Geological Survey
                    Jim Wilkinson, Executive Director, Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium
                    Bob Vogel, Superintendent, National Mall and Memorial Parks, National Park Service

CONTACT     Brian Blake, Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium
                   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / (901)544-3570

NOTES         All media are invited to attend; press packets will be made available. Side interviews will be allowed following the press conference.  Audio mult box will be provided. 

Limited parking for microwave or satellite trucks is on eastbound Jefferson Drive between 14th and 15th Streets in the far left-hand lane. Parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis, and is not guaranteed. There is room for a maximum of six live vehicles parked bumper to bumper. There is no room for any news crew cars or personal vehicle parking in this area. Suggested parking for crew/personal vehicles is on Jefferson Drive east of 14th Street.