Almost 100 Missouri school districts and schools are registered for Feb. 7 statewide earthquake drill
Dec. 16 is 200th anniversary of first of the Great New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12
Almost 100 Missouri school districts and individual schools have already registered to take part
in Missouri's second statewide earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7, 2012. A total of more
than 146,000 Missourians are now registered to participate in the drill, called the "Great
Central U.S. ShakeOut," which will be held in Missouri and seven other Midwest states.
"Almost 450,000 Missourians took part in the first ShakeOut earthquake drill on April 28,
2011, learning exactly what they should do if a major earthquake hits," said State Emergency
Management Agency Director Paul Parmenter. "An earthquake is an event that comes
without warning and, because many Missourians live in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, it is
very important to be able to react immediately to protect yourself and your family.”
The New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, is the nation's most active
earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains. Three of the largest earthquakes in the
continental United States occurred in the region from1811-12. The largest of the quakes was
centered in New Madrid and occurred on Feb. 7, 1812. The ShakeOut earthquake drill is
being held on the 200th anniversary of this earthquake. The first of the three largest quakes
occurred on Dec. 16, 1811.
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 South Carolina.
During the ShakeOut, Missourians will "Drop, Cover and Hold On” for 60 seconds. Experts
says this is the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake, since in the U.S. the primary
threat for most people in an earthquake is falling debris and toppling objects, like book cases
and heavy electronics, not structural collapse.
At 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7, Missourians and people around the Midwest will:
to the ground
· Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
· HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops
The Great New Madrid Earthquakes were followed by aftershocks that continued for more
than two years. More than 2,000 shocks were felt at least 180 miles away from their epicenters.