State Emergency Management Agency News Release




News Release ID: N09120012


October 29, 2012

Missouri schools and students invited to join "Show-Me ShakeOut" earthquake poster contest

Third annual contest promotes earthquake safety and the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill on Feb. 7

On Feb. 7, Missourians will participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, an earthquake preparedness drill that teaches the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protective actions to take in the event of an earthquake.

To promote the ShakeOut, the State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Seismic Safety Commission are sponsoring the "Show-Me ShakeOut" poster contest. Third, fourth and fifth grade students across Missouri are invited to create a classroom poster promoting the ShakeOut and earthquake safety.

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. On Feb. 7, 1812, Missouri was rocked by one of the largest earthquakes ever to hit the continental United States. Centered in New Madrid, in southeast Missouri, the earthquake 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.

The risk of another large earthquake continues, and today the New Madrid Seismic Zone includes many population centers. Preparing and planning to respond to a major quake are essential.

The statewide contest winners will receive gift cards and emergency first aid kits for their classrooms. These prizes are courtesy of ABNA Engineering, Inc. of St. Louis, Central Electric Power Cooperative of Jefferson City, the University of Missouri-Columbia's Department of Geological Sciences, and the Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross. Winning posters will be displayed on SEMA's Web site and featured at earthquake awareness events during 2013.

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 Jan. 18, 2013 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                

·     Winners from each statewide grade level will be notified by Feb. 4, 2013.

·     Winning results will be posted on the SEMA Web site ( and announced in 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) 751-4819 or e-mail