Experts say that the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the largest active zone in the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains, is at risk for a major earthquake. However, earthquake insurance coverage in the highest risk areas of the New Madrid seismic zone has dropped dramatically in recent years, widening the gap between the insured and the uninsured. This leaves states with a significant challenge as they look at planning for a successful recovery following an event in which the economic losses are expected to reach $300 billion.
To address this issue, several organizations have partnered together to organize the first ever Central U.S. Earthquake Insurance Summit. Scheduled scheduled for September 28-29, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri, the Summit is being organized by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance, FEMA Region VII, and CUSEC. The purpose of the Summit is to bring together the insurance industry, regulators, government officials and emergency management professionals to forge new ideas to begin “closing the gap.”
The Summit is open to anyone interested in earthquake insurance and earthquake resiliency issues. More information, including a detailed program agenda, hotel information, and registration, can be found at www.centralusquakesummit.org.
In partnership with our Member States, CUSEC is hosting a Facebook Live presentation and Q/A on March 12at 12:30PM CST. During the event, representatives from CUSEC, as well as geologists and emergency managers from Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, will inform viewers about earthquake hazards and potential risks, as well as what can be done ahead of time to be better prepared.
Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions and interact with panelists, and learn where to find resources needed to better protect themselves and their families against earthquakes. Topics covered will include:
We encourage you to join in and participate in the livestream. RSVP and event details can be found at https://fb.me/e/25sj4QIps.
Also, if you haven’t already, we hope you’ll like our Facebook page at facebook.com/EQConsortium.
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) intended to educate the public, private sector, first responders, and government officials. Due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, the events will be taking place online. Earthquake Awareness Month events scheduled for February 2021 include:
February 11 – Missouri Seismic Safety Commission Meeting
February 11 – CUSEC Board of Directors Meeting
February 12 – Tennessee SAVE Coalition Board Meeting
February 16 – Webinar: Missouri SAVE Coalition Overview
February 17 – Webinar: Tennessee SAVE Coalition Overview
February 18 – Webinar: Arkansas INSPARK Program Overview
February 23-24 – EPA Water & Wastewater Earthquake Resilience Webinars
February 25 – Webinar: Using New Technologies for Earthquake Resilience
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.