With the October 19 Great Central U.S. “ShakeOut” earthquake drill this week, more than 440,000 Missourians have registered to participate. In all, almost 2.5 million people are registered in the 14 central U.S. states that could be impacted by a New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake.
At exactly 10:19 a.m. on Thursday, October 19, participants will:
• Drop to their hands and knees
• Cover their heads and necks with their hands and arms under a table or desk if possible
• Hold on until the shaking stops.
Experts say “Drop, Cover, Hold On” is the best way to protect oneself from falling debris, which is the most likely cause of injury during an earthquake in developed nations with modern building standards.
There’s still time to sign up at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Once registered, participants receive details on the drill, as well as information on earthquake preparedness and safety. Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and other organizations can register, and can participate on another day if October 19 is not convenient.
In 1811 and 1812, the New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, produced some of the largest earthquakes ever in the continental U.S. A major earthquake in this area could result in damage in much of southern and eastern Missouri, including the St. Louis area. Geologists say there’s a 7 -10% chance of another major earthquake occurring in a fifty-year time period. To learn more about earthquakes in Missouri and how to prepare, go to www.sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_preparedness.