Missouri Earthquake Preparedness

Strengthened School Provides Earthquake Protection

image of a Notre Dame high school A Cape Girardeau school is now better prepared in case of a strong earthquake in southeast Missouri. The State Emergency Management Agency’s Earthquake Program worked with Notre Dame Regional High School on a mitigation project aimed at improving the school’s earthquake safety.

image a school window

Glass in this hallway was replaced with tempered glass, which is stronger and does not break into sharp shards when it shatters.

Funding provided by the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) allowed Notre Dame Regional High School to improve safety for students, teachers, staff and visitors. Earthquake preparedness repairs included securing overhead light fixtures, anchoring bookcases and cabinets that could fall, replacing hallway glass with tempered glass, and anchoring a gas valve and high voltage transformer onto concrete pads. Staff members at the high school also strapped several water heaters and water softeners to walls to keep them from falling over during an earthquake.

high voltage transformer onto concrete pads to increase safety

School officials anchored a high voltage transformer onto concrete pads to increase safety. Hardware to do this can be found at your local hardware stores.

The non-structural improvements were completed in March 2013, and cost just over $5,000. Bloomfield R-XIV, Kennett 39 and Sikeston R-6 are other Missouri school districts that have benefited from the NEHRP state assistance cooperative program.

Other earthquake non-structural mitigation projects are underway in the Nell Holcomb R-IV and Doniphan R-I school districts in southeast Missouri.

Established in 1977, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program is the federal government’s body tasked with reducing risks to life and property in the United States as a result of earthquakes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency oversees NEHRP’s state assistance cooperative program. Learn more about how you can increase earthquake protection at school, home and work at http://www.fema.gov/earthquake-publications.

school bookcase

Left: Consider bolting bookcases and other tall furniture to walls to help prevent them from falling over and causing injury. Hardware to do this can be found at your local hardware stores.

Right: School officials strapped water heaters and water softeners to the wall to help prevent them from falling over in an earthquake.

school water heater