October 23, 2017

More than 500,000 Missourians participate in 2017 ‘ShakeOut’ earthquake drill

On Oct. 19, more than 500,000 Missourians participated in the Great Central U. S. “ShakeOut” earthquake drill. In all, more than 2.7 million people participated 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 Oct. 19, participants practiced “Drop, Cover, Hold On”: 

 DROP to your hands and knees;

 COVER your head and neck with your hands and arms under a table or desk if possible; and

 HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

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

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 to 10 percent chance of another major earthquake occurring in a 50-year time period.

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is held on the third Thursday of October each year; the 2018 ShakeOut will take place Oct. 18. Information on the drill and registration is available here:

Information on earthquake preparedness and safety in Missouri is available here:



For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail