October 01, 2015

Missouri statewide earthquake drill on Oct. 15 teaches preparedness in three simple steps

Schools, families and businesses all encouraged to participate in annual ‘Great Central U.S. ShakeOut’

Registration is open for the annual Great Central U. S. “ShakeOut” earthquake drill, which teaches how people should protect themselves if an earthquake strikes. More than 2.5 million people in 14 states, including more than 400,000 Missourians, are already signed up for this brief exercise that takes place at 10:15 a.m. on Oct. 15


During the ShakeOut, participants practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique for 60 seconds:

DROP to the ground
Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops


“The ShakeOut drill is an important way we can all prepare for an earthquake in Missouri,” said Missouri State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker. “Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes occur without warning. Knowing how to respond immediately is extremely important so we can protect ourselves.”


To sign up for the ShakeOut visit Once registered, participants receive regular updates, including information on earthquake and disaster safety. The ShakeOut website also has many resources available, including manuals, videos, audio drill broadcasts, earthquake scenarios, and more.


The New Madrid Seismic Zone, which includes parts of southeast Missouri, has produced some of the largest earthquakes ever in the continental U.S.  Experts say knowing how to respond when an earthquake occurs is an important step to practice before the next large event occurs. A major earthquake in this area will produce damage in much of southern and eastern Missouri, including the St. Louis area.


Visit for more information on the New Madrid Seismic Zone or the event itself. Click the Missouri link to see a list of registered participants in your area. The website also has media resources in including graphics, web banners and fact sheets.


The SEMA website provides earthquake safety information for schools and the public, including videos demonstrating how to conduct a ShakeOut drill:


Videos, including a demonstration of how to "Drop, Cover and Hold On,” can be accessed directly at: