Franklin County Emergency Management Agency has joined with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to encourage Illinoisans to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 7.
Director Ryan M. Buckingham said the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill will be conducted simultaneously with other states in the Central U.S. to draw attention to the earthquake hazard that exists in Illinois and other states in the region.
“Last year, more than 2.4 million people across the region participated in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill,” he said. “More than 496,000 of those participants were Illinoisans.
“This year’s ShakeOut coincides with the 201st anniversary of the February 7, 1812, earthquake near New Madrid, Missouri,” Buckingham said. “That earthquake was part of a series of a least three magnitude 7 or greater earthquakes during the winter of 1811-1812 that changed the landscape of the Central United States.”
He said if earthquakes were to happen today, their effects could have catastrophic impacts on national transportation, communication, utility, and financial systems.
To participate in the 2013 ShakeOut log on to the ShakeOut website, http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/, where you can register for the drill and obtain details and reference materials.
Buckingham encourages schools, businesses, families, government agencies, medical facilities, colleges, universities and other organizations to participate in the drill.
He said organizations that cannot participate on Feb. 7 could select another day to participate in the earthquake drill. Buckingham said the organization should still register even if another day is selected to participate in the drill.
Additional earthquake preparedness and mitigation information is available on these websites: http://www.ready.illinois.gov and http://www.cusec.org.
For more information, contact the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency’s Bureau of Emergency Preparedness at 439-4EMA.