Prepare for quake with ShakeOut

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Tennesseans are among the more than 2.5 million people expected to participate in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill.

The ShakeOut will be at 10:15 a.m. Feb. 7.

It is a multi-state earthquake drill for millions of people to simultaneously practice the recommended response to earthquake shaking:

• Drop to the ground;

• Take cover by getting under a sturdy desk or table; and

• Hold on to it until the shaking stops.

FEMA officials said although people living in this part of the country haven’t experienced many earthquakes, scientists estimate there is a 25-40 percent probability of a damaging earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within a 50-year timeframe.

Thursday’s drill marks the 101st anniversary of the last of the powerful New Madrid earthquakes.

This series of at least three magnitude 7-8.0 quakes struck in the winter of 1811-12 and affected many parts of the region.

An earthquake of such magnitude today would cause injury and loss of life, and widespread damage and disruption to the nation’s economy and built environment, FEMA officials said.

Anyone can sign up to participate in the drill at shakeout.org/centralus.

The website offers many resources for participants to use, including drill manuals, audio and video drill broadcasts, and earthquake scenarios.

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, its member and
associate states, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey and other partners.  

Other states participating include Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma.