IEMA encourages participation in multi-state earthquake drill

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

                      At 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7, 2012, millions

                     of people in the Central United States will seek

                     shelter under their desks, kitchen tables and other

                     sturdy objects as part of the second annual “Great

                     Central U.S. ShakeOut” earthquake drill.  The

                     Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is

                     encouraging people to register for the multi-state

                     drill.  Nearly 22,000 Illinois residents have

                     registered to date.

                     “The drill takes just a few minutes, but the lessons

                     learned can save countless lives,” said IEMA Director

                     Jonathon Monken.  “Many people don’t realize that the

                     most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the U.S.

                     took place 200 years ago along the New Madrid Seismic

                     Zone, which reaches into southern Illinois.  That

                     risk, along with the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone in

                     southeastern Illinois and numerous other faults

                     throughout the state, is why we’re encouraging

                     residents to take part in the ShakeOut drill.”

                     Monken said schools, businesses, government agencies,

                     families and others are encouraged to register to

                     participate in the drill at

                     www.shakeout.org/centralus.  Registered participants

                     will receive additional information about the drill

                     and earthquake preparedness.

                     More than three million people in 11 states

                     participated in the first “Great Central U.S.

                     ShakeOut” on April 28, 2011, including nearly 260,000

                     participants in Illinois.  The drill focuses on the

                     “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions people

                     should take when an earthquake begins: “Drop” down to

                     the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or

                     other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item

                     and be prepared to move with it until the shaking

                     stops.

                     The date for the 2012 ShakeOut drill coincides with

                     the 200th anniversary of the Feb. 7, 1812, earthquake

                     near New Madrid, Missouri, the last of a series of

                     earthquakes that were felt as far away as the East

                     Coast.  The event is being organized by the Central

                     United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) and its

                     member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky,

                     Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri and

                     Tennessee.

                     Additional information about the earthquake risk in

                     Illinois and steps to take before, during and after

                     an earthquake is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.