ATLANTA – In two days, more than 2.5 million people are expected to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill.
The ShakeOut will be held Thursday, February 7 at 10:15 a.m. local time. It is a multi-state earthquake drill for millions of people to simultaneously practice the recommended response to earthquake shaking:
- DROP to the ground
- Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
- HOLD-ON to it until the shaking stops
Although people living in this part of the country haven’t experienced many earthquakes, scientists estimate that there is a 25-40 percent probability of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within a 50-year timeframe.
Kentucky Emergency Management Director John Heltzel said, “Earthquakes cannot be predicted and can occur anywhere at any time, which is why it is important to know what to do when one occurs. The ShakeOut is a great opportunity for people, and families, to practice and prepare.”
Thursday’s drill marks the anniversary of the last of the powerful New Madrid earthquakes, a series of at least three magnitude 7-8.0 quakes that struck in the winter of 1811-12 and affected many parts of this region. If it happened today, an earthquake would cause injury and loss of life, and widespread damage and disruption to the nation’s economy and built environment.
Anyone can sign up to participate in Thursday’s drill at shakeout.org/centralus. The website offers many resources for participants to use including:
- Drill Manuals
- Audio and Video Drill Broadcasts
- Earthquake Scenarios and more
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, its Member and Associate States, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey and many other partners. States participating include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.