October 16, 2014

More than 460,000 Missourians participate in annual Great U.S. ShakeOut earthquake preparedness drill

Families, schools and organizations practice earthquake safety measures during Oct. 16 drill

More than 460,000 Missourians took part in this year's Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill, which was conducted throughout Missouri at 10:16 a.m., on Oct. 16.
Taking part in this year's drill were about 360,000 Missouri school children, teachers and staff, along with more than 25,000 participants at colleges and universities across the state. The ShakeOut was coordinated by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC).
Missouri was one of 11 central U.S. states participating in the drill, with total participation exceeding 2.7 million residents. The other states were Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
The ShakeOut drill is part of an ongoing national earthquake preparedness campaign designed to teach people about earthquake hazards, how to be prepared for an earthquake and what to do to stay safe during an earthquake. During the ShakeOut, participants are instructed to practice the "Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique for 60 seconds: "Drop, Cover, and Hold On” – drop to the floor, cover under a desk or table, and hold on to it until the shaking stops. This technique is considered the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake.                                                             Centered in southeast Missouri, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is the nation's most active earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains. Three of the largest earthquakes in the continental United States occurred in the region from1811-12, the largest of which was centered in New Madrid and occurred on Feb. 7, 1812. Together, the earthquakes were so powerful they altered the flow of the Mississippi River, turned rich farmland into fields of sand and destroyed countless structures. People on the East Coast of the United States felt shaking and church bells reportedly rang as far away as South Carolina.
The Great New Madrid Earthquakes 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. Even now, more than 200 small quakes a year occur in the region.
For more information on Missouri earthquake history, geology and other resources, visit the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency's Earthquake Preparedness page at


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