January 06, 2011

Feb. 1 deadline is rapidly approaching for earthquake poster contest for Missouri school children

Third, fourth and fifth grade students are eligible; schools are also encouraged to take part in "ShakeOut" earthquake drill on April 28

On April 28, Missourians have the opportunity to participate in the first ever Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, an earthquake preparedness drill that provides a chance to practice the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protective actions that should be taken in the event of a real earthquake.
To promote the ShakeOut, which will also take place in nine other U.S. states at 10:15 a.m. on April 28, the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission is sponsoring the "Show-Me ShakeOut" poster contest. Elementary students across Missouri are invited to create a classroom poster promoting earthquake awareness. A statewide winner from each grade level will be selected and each winner will receive an Apple iPod Shuffle from the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission and the State Emergency Management Agency. Winning posters will be displayed on SEMA's Web site and featured at various earthquake awareness events throughout 2011.    Because many Missourians live within the New Madrid Seismic Zone—one of the most active seismic zones in the country— each February Missouri observes Earthquake Awareness Month. In 2011, Missouri and emergency preparedness officials across the nation will be observing the bicentennial of the beginning of the Great New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12. From Dec. 16, 1811 to Feb. 7, 1812, Missouri was rocked by at least three of the largest earthquakes ever to hit the continental United States.
The most powerful was centered in New Madrid, in southeast Missouri. The earthquakes 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 New England. The risk of similar earthquake remains, and today the then sparsely populated New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) includes many population centers. Preparing and planning for a response to a major quake are essential.

Contest Guidelines:

·    Each school will select a winning poster for each of the three grade levels. 
·    Posters may be scanned or digitally photographed and submitted electronically in JPEG, GIF, PDF or PNG format. Schools should retain the original poster if a submission is made electronically. 
·    All submissions must include the name of the school, name and age of the student, name of school principal and name of classroom teacher.
·    All posters MUST be submitted to SEMA by Feb. 1 to be eligible.
·    The school principal or lead teacher must submit or mail poster entries to:                        Steve Besemer                                               State Emergency Management Agency                        P. O. Box 116, 2302 Militia Drive                        Jefferson City, MO  65102                                        E-Mail:
·    Winners from each statewide grade level will be notified by March 1.
·    Winning results will be posted on the SEMA Web site ( and announced in statewide and regional press releases.
Additional information about the ShakeOut is available at Additional information about the New Madrid Seismic Zone and earthquake safety is available at


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