CUSEC News & Events
Earthquake insurance can be a powerful tool for speeding and strengthening recovery after an earthquake, yet data show that uptake of residential earthquake insurance in the U.S. is very low. To address this issue, CUSEC and the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup (CREW) are partnering to deliver an earthquake-insurance themed forum in Memphis, Tennessee on March 28, 2022.
The forum will bring together state emergency managers and insurance professionals to take a closer look at earthquake insurance, exploring its potential as a resilience tool and examining equity concerns and other challenges that have so far limited its role in financial preparedness. Because an important part of the preparedness equation is public awareness and action, the forum will also present research and messaging tools that can be used in earthquake education and outreach programs.
When: Monday, March 28, 2022 | 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT)
Where: Central Station Hotel, 545 S Main St., Memphis, TN 38103 (note: the venue is the same as the 2022 National Earthquake Program Managers (NEPM) meeting (March 29-31, 2022).*
Registration: Registration and additional information can be found on CREW’s website at: https://crew.org/eqinsuranceforum/
* The Minding the Gap forum will be a hybrid event — a live virtual attendance option will be available for those unable to attend in person.
Funding support for this event is provided by FEMA’s National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.
As earthquakes continue to occur on a daily basis in the central U.S.—with nearly 2,000 small tremors per year—CUSEC and emergency management officials in our Member States remind citizens and communities about the earthquake risk by designating February as Earthquake Awareness Month. During the month of February, CUSEC will be involved with several events (listed below, as they become available) intended to educate the public, private sector, first responders, and government officials.
February 3 – Facebook Live Stream Part 1: Earthquake Hazards & Safety
February 10 – Facebook Live Stream Part 2: Earthquake Preparedness and Financial Preparedness
February 11 – Tennessee SAVE Coalition Training
Also, February 7 is the anniversary of the last of the earthquakes that struck the central U.S. in the winter of 1811-12. According to the US Geological Survey:
This sequence of three very large earthquakes is usually referred to as the New Madrid earthquakes, after the Missouri town that was the largest settlement on the Mississippi River between St. Louis, Missouri and Natchez, Mississippi. On the basis of the large area of damage (600,000 square kilometers), the widespread area of perceptibility (5,000,000 square kilometers), and the complex physiographic changes that occurred, the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812 rank as some of the largest in the United States since its settlement by Europeans.
While scientists say that there is a 7-10% probability of a re-occurrence of the 1811-12 earthquakes within any 50-year window, they also estimate that there is a 25-40% probability of a M6.0 or greater earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within the same period of time. About 200 earthquakes occur in the central U.S. every year-many of which go unnoticed. And while the primary focus remains on the NMSZ , it is not the only area of concern. Earthquakes are also occurring along the Wabash Valley and East Tennessee Seismic Zones and in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas.
Just before 9:00PM CST on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake occurred near Poplar Bluff, Missouri. The earthquake occurred along what is most commonly referred to as the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), a system of faults that stretches from northeast Arkansas and southeastern Missouri into Southern Illinois. Although dozens — if not hundreds — of small earthquakes occur along the NMSZ each year, the M4.0 earthquake near Poplar Bluff was the largest earthquake to be recorded in Missouri in a number of years.
The temblor is a not-so-subtle reminder that the central United States is indeed earthquake country. Numerous large, damaging earthquakes have struck the region in the past and according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), there is a 25-40% chance of a damaging earthquake (M6.0 or greater) occurring in the central U.S. in the next 50 years. There is a 7-10% chance of a M7.0 or greater occurring within the same time period. The USGS, which monitors seismic activity in the United States, maintains a citizen-based reporting program called “Did You Feel It?” (DYFI).
So far, more than 5,200 people across eight states have logged what they felt using the DYFI program. The majority of reports came from citizens in Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee, with the most intense shaking felt in the Poplar Bluff area. Many people on social media also reported feeling the earthquake.
Below are a number of news articles referencing the M4.0 Poplar Bluff earthquake.
The M4.0 Poplar Bluff earthquake on November 17, 2021 was recorded at an earthquake monitoring station at the CUSEC headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee. The station, along with many others in the region, is operated and monitored by the Center for Earthquake Research and Information (CERI) at the University of Memphis.