October 02, 2019

Over 400,000 Missourians now registered for annual statewide ‘ShakeOut’ earthquake drill on Oct. 17

Sign up now to participate in this year’s ‘Drop, Cover, Hold On’ drill

Two weeks before Missouri’s annual statewide earthquake drill, more than 405,000 people are already registered to participate in the Great Central U. S. “ShakeOut” on October 17. A total of more than 2.2 million people are registered in the 14 central U.S. states that could be impacted by a New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake.

“In the past year there have been significantly large-scale earthquakes in both Alaska and California,” State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker said. “Two days ago, there were seven small earthquakes in Missouri, including five within 40 minutes. Since earthquakes are unpredictable and occur without warning, everyone should participate in the ShakeOut drill to ensure they will know what to do when the shaking starts.”

At exactly 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, October 17, participants will practice the “Drop, Cover, Hold On” technique to protect themselves:

  • DROP to your hands and knees;
  • COVER your head and neck with your hands and arms under a table or desk if you can; 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.

There’s still time to sign up at Once registered, participants receive details on the drill, as well as information on earthquake preparedness and safety. Individuals, families, businesses, schools and other organizations can register, and can participate on another day if October 17 isn’t convenient.

From 1811-12, the New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, produced some of the largest earthquakes in U.S. history. A major earthquake in this area would damage 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.

To learn more about earthquakes in Missouri and how to prepare, visit


For more information, call 573-751-6294 or e-mail