Multi-State Planning

The earthquake risk in the central United States poses a threat that is regional in scale and does not respect governmental boundaries.  Because of the unique geology of the region, a large earthquake occurring along the New Madrid or Wabash faults will cause damage in multiple states.   Understanding this unique problem, CUSEC, under the direction of CUSEC Board of Directors,  works closely with many different partners at the Federal Goverrment Level and within our Member States to plan for such an event.  Multi-state coordination and planning are keys to protecting lives, property, and infrastructure within the central U.S. 

Multi-State Planning is a goal area that is accomplished through several ways, including - 

  - Working with local, state, regional, and national agencies to address the earthquake risk

  - Providing a coordination point between different disciplines

  - Working with State Earthquake Program Managers to develop multi-state strategies for earthquake risk reduction

Use the links below to learn more about the current Multi-State Planning initiatives that CUSEC is involved with.

CAPSTONE-14 Print E-mail

An Initiative to Advance Preparedness in the Central U.S.

In support of Presidential Policy Directive 8 (PPD8) the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) presents CAPSTONE-14. Under the direction of the CUSEC Board of Directors, CAPSTONE-14 was a three-year, multi-state scope of planning and preparedness activities culminating in a major, multi-state earthquake exercise in June 2014.  It was designed to strengthen partnerships between local, state, and federal governments, while engaging public and private sector entities in planning response and recovery from a catastrophic earthquake occurring within the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). Included in the initiative were both CUSEC Member, and Associate States.  

CAPSTONE-14 included mitigation, preparedness, recovery, and response planning activities that directly support legislation in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program. Additionally, the exercise supported plans to improve building inspection capabilities and promote code adoption to enhance seismic safety and community resilience. CAPSTONE-14 built off of lessons learned during the New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Planning Project and National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE11).  Focus areas of the CAPSTONE-14 exercise included:

 - Regional Communications,

 - Regional Situational Awareness, 

 - Regional Transportation,  

 - Private Sector Integration, 

 - Regional Resource Management, and

 - Regional Defense Support of Civil Authorities

In November, 2014, CUSEC released the CAPSTONE-14 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:

CUSEC New Madrid Seismic Zone Catastrophic Planning Project Print E-mail

According to current scientific understanding, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is capable of producing damaging earthquakes at any time.  The earthquakes of 1811-12 were estimated to be between a M7.0-8.0 and occurred in an area that was sparsely populated.  Were these earthquakes to occur today, their effects would be considered catastrophic, directly affecting several million people across eight states and indirectly affecting millions of others.  In an effort to prepare for this, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided funding to CUSEC to lead an effort to develop, improve, and integrate the earthquake response plans of the eight states in the region—Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee—that would be most affected by an earthquake.   

Officially started in 2006, the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) Catastrophic Planning Project, remains the largest multi-state response planning effort of its kind, and drew upon lessons learned from previous planning initiatives throughout the nation.  The effort also helped establish and refine portions of the National Response Framework, an all-hazards guide that establishes how the Nation will respond to small and large scale disasters. The priorities for project were set by CUSEC’s Board of Directors, which is comprised of the state emergency management directors from the eight CUSEC Member states.  As state directors, the CUSEC Board is in a unique position to know exactly what is needed to prepare the region for a catastrophic event such as an earthquake.  CUSEC is a peer-based organization where planning and response choices in the key areas of strategy, tactics, and operations are made by councils of peers drawn from every level and function for discussion and sharing of best practices.

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CUSEC Member State Seismic Advisory Councils Print E-mail

Among the many central United States governmental and non-governmental organizations, state seismic safety advisory boards have proven to be of great value in addressing the shared earthquake hazard. Six out of eight CUSEC member states have a seismic safety advisory board; and although they operate under different names, they each have a common goal to promote greater earthquake awareness and preparedness among the region’s residents.   To learn more about your State Council, contact your State Earthquake Program Manager.

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Transportation Systems in the Central U.S. Print E-mail

Transportation systems in the Central U.S. - including highways, bridges, railways, waterways, ports, and airports - are vulnerable to the effects of a damaging earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone. Furthermore, damages to transportation systems may extend to several states, which presents transportation officials in government and the private sector with unique problems and challenges.

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New Madrid Housing Recovery Strategy Print E-mail

A New Madrid Housing Recovery Working Group was organized under the auspices of the CUSEC in 1998 with representation from the four federal regions, state and local government from the member states in the Consortium; and the American Red Cross because of its role as Lead Agency for Emergency Support Function 6 (Mass Care) in the Federal Response Plan.

Read More about the New Madrid Housing Recovery Strategy...