SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging all residents, schools, businesses and other organizations to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut eat 10:17 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17. The goal of this “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill is to draw attention to the earthquake hazard that exists in Illinois, across the country and around the world.
The annual ShakeOut is an international event involving millions of participants from more than 40 states and territories and several countries. To date, millions of people have registered worldwide, including more than two million people in the central United States.
Illinois is sandwiched between two active seismic zones: the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. Earthquakes can occur at anytime, anywhere and without warning. On Friday, Sept. 27, a 3.27 magnitude earthquake shook parts of the Missouri bootheel. On Monday, Sept. 30, the United States Geological Survey reports seven earthquakes occurred in one day. Geologist are warning residents that while we often associate earthquakes with the west coast, quakes can and do occur closer to home. This underscores the importance of preparedness. An earthquake can strike when you are at work, at home, at school, or while on vacation. ShakeOut provides the opportunity to practice what you would do in the event of an earthquake.
Shakeout Participation is as easy as 1, 2, 3…
1. REGISTER your home, school or organization on the ShakeOut website: www.ShakeOut.org/centralus. Once registered, your point of contact will receive important information about earthquakes and preparedness.
2. INFORM the members of your home, school or organization of your participation plans.
3. PRACTICE “DROP, COVER and HOLD ON” at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17. Drop to the ground onto your hands and knees. Cover your head and neck with one arm to protect yourself from falling objects. Hold On to a sturdy table or desk until the shaking is done. These are the recommended actions to take during earthquake shaking.
This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.