Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m., Feb. 7

February 6, 2012

Online Staff Report

CHICAGO — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region V is encouraging the public to participate in the second annual central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill. The multi-state drill will be held at 10:15 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 7.

More than 1 million people are preparing to participate in the emergency drill by following three simple steps that are recommended during an earthquake: drop to the ground, take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and hold on to it until the shaking stops.

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is organized and coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its member and associate states (including Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee), FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners.

Two hundred years ago, a series of major earthquakes struck the Mississippi River Valley along the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Scientists estimate there is a 25 to 40 percent chance of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within the next 50 years.

We don’t know when the next earthquake will strike,” said FEMA Region V Administrator Andrew Velasquez III. “This drill offers an opportunity to learn what to do before, during and after an earthquake. The earthquake in McHenry, Ill., earlier this week, while low in intensity, serves as a reminder that earthquakes do occur in the central U.S.”

The drill will start at 10:15 a.m., Feb. 7. Some radio and TV stations in participating areas will broadcast the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill during this time. For information about participating stations, visit http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/drill/broadcasters.html.

The ShakeOut is free, open to the public, and anyone can get more information or register to participate by visiting www.shakeout.org/centralus. Further earthquake preparedness tips can be found at www.ready.gov/earthquakes.

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