Missouri’s annual ‘ShakeOut’ earthquake drill will be held Oct. 20

Registration is open for the 2016 Great Central U. S. “ShakeOut” earthquake drill on Oct. 20. More than 450,000 Missourians are already registered to participate in the annual drill, which teaches people how to protect themselves in an earthquake. More than two million people are signed up in 14 central U.S. states that could be impacted by a major New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake.

At exactly 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20, participants will practice “Drop, Cover, Hold On”:

  • DROP to your hands and knees, under a table or a desk if you can;
  • COVER your head and neck with your hands and arms; and,
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Experts say Drop, Cover, Hold On is the best way to protect yourself from falling debris, which is the most likely cause of injury during an earthquake in developed nations with modern building standards.

“It’s very important for people to immediately know what to do to protect themselves because earthquakes occur without warning,” said State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker. “If you and your family know in advance how react and take cover, it could prevent serious injury.”

To sign up for the ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org/centralus/. Once registered, participants receive regular updates on the drill, as well as information on earthquake preparedness and safety. The ShakeOut website also includes many resources, including manuals, videos, audio drill broadcasts and earthquake scenarios.

From 1811-12, the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which includes 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.

To learn more about earthquakes in Missouri and how to prepare, visit www.sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_preparedness. The site includes brief videos that show how to conduct a ShakeOut drill.