Feb
06

Would You Know What To Do in an Earthquake?

February 06, 2012

You’ve heard of fire drills, even participated in tornado drills, but on Tuesday, February 7, more than 2.3 million people across nine states, including Illinois, will participate in the 2012 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, a drill that teaches residents what to do in the event of an earthquake.

An earthquake? Amongst Chicago real estate? Come on.

According to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the most powerful earthquake to ever occur in the continental United States took place during the winter of 1811-1812 in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), which includes portions of the states of Illinois, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Since 1974, more than 3,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the NMSZ, though most went undetected. In fact, residents all over Chicago’s northern suburbs reported feeling the 2.4-magnititude earthquake that shook the ground on Jan. 31.

So? What do you do in the event of an earthquake?

“Just this week, many people in Northern Illinois felt the shaking from a small earthquake,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

“Taking the time to be prepared and practice how to stay safe could help save lives if a major earthquake occurs. I encourage everyone to learn more about earthquake preparedness and to take part in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill.”

February is Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois, and the second annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill is set for Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 10:15 a.m.

The drill will have residents practicing the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protocol:

*Drop: Drop down to the floor

*Cover: Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture

*Hold On: Hold On to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.

“We are very excited that more than 400,000 people in Illinois have already registered to participate in the Great Central U.S. Shakeout,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “This drill is helping to raise public awareness of the earthquake risk in our region and teaches people what they can do to stay safe if an earthquake occurs.”

For more information on the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill, visit shakeout.org/centralus.

For more information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and how to prepare for it, check out the Earthquakes in Illinois section of the IEMA website. It includes steps you can take before, during and after an earthquake, as well as an interactive “Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt” to help people find and fix hazards in their homes.

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Tracey

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