JEFFERSON CITY – To emphasize the importance of earthquake preparedness on the 200th anniversary of the largest earthquakes in Missouri history, Governor Jay Nixon has proclaimed April 28 as Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Day. The Governor encourages Missourians to participate in the 11-state earthquake drill to be better prepared in case a real earthquake hits the Show-Me state.
“Almost 400, 000 Missourians are already registered to participate in what will be the largest earthquake drill in Missouri, and the central U.S.,” said Governor Nixon. “Those numbers are outstanding, because an earthquake has the potential to be the most devastating natural disaster Missouri could face, and earthquakes occur without warning.”
During the ShakeOut, participants will "Drop, Cover and Hold On" for about 60 seconds. Experts say this is the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake, since in the U.S. the primary threat for injury or loss of life during an earthquake is falling debris and toppling objects, like bookcases and heavy electronics, not a structural collapse.
At 10:15 a.m. on April 28, Missourians and other people around the central U.S. will:
• DROP to the ground
• take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
• HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops
In Missouri, more than 275,000 students and teachers at 275 school districts and individual schools across the state are already registered to take part in the ShakeOut. More than 47,000 students and staff at Missouri colleges and universities are registered, as well as more than 19,000 employees as hospitals and medical facilities.
Anyone can register for the ShakeOut at www.shakeout.org/centralus. The Web site provides details on how to participate in the drill. More than 1.8 million people throughout the central U.S. are already registered to participate in the drill.
Much more earthquake preparedness information is available on the State Emergency Management Agency’s Earthquake Preparedness page. Go to www.sema.dps.mo.gov and click on "Missouri Earthquake Preparedness 2011" in the blue box, or go directly to www.sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_preparedness_2011.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, is the nation's most active earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains. At least three of the largest earthquakes in the continental United States occurred in the region from1811-12. The largest of the quakes was centered in New Madrid and occurred on Feb. 7, 1812. The earthquakes altered the flow of the Mississippi River, turned rich farmland into fields of sand and destroyed countless structures.
The earthquakes were felt all the way to the east coast, and were followed by aftershocks that continued for more than two years. More than 2,000 shocks were felt at least 180 miles away from their epicenters.