Businesses, government agencies from 8 states meet to enhance
announces agreement with Sears Holdings to boost emergency response,
Send a link to a friend
[August 16, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- More than 200
business leaders and government officials from eight states are
meeting in Hoffman Estates this week to forge public-private
partnerships that will enhance preparedness, response, recovery and
risk-reduction efforts for a potentially catastrophic earthquake
occurring within the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The three-day Capstone
14 workshop is hosted by the Central United States Earthquake
Consortium, or CUSEC, and its eight member states of Alabama,
Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and
The Capstone 14 workshop, meeting at the Sears Holdings facility, is
the first in a series of activities planned over the next two years,
culminating in a large-scale exercise among the eight CUSEC states
and their private-sector partners in June 2014.
earthquake risk in the central U.S. isn't just a government issue,"
said Jim Wilkinson, executive director of CUSEC. "The hazard has
such a large geographic footprint across the central U.S., it
mandates a broad planning approach involving leadership from
companies large and small working hand in hand with those in the
The New Madrid Seismic Zone stretches along the Mississippi River
valley from southern Illinois to Mississippi. The most powerful
earthquakes ever to occur in the continental United States took
place in the New Madrid Seismic Zone during the winter of 1811-1812.
Earthquakes in the central or eastern United States affect much
larger areas than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the western
United States due to differences in geology east and west of the
According to a study by the Federal Emergency Management Agency,
a 7.7 magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone could
cause $300 billion in direct economic losses within an eight-state
area, while indirect economic losses could total twice that amount.
In addition, as many as 3,500 fatalities could occur throughout the
affected region, with 7.2 million people displaced and 2 million
people seeking temporary shelter.
During the workshop, business leaders and government
representatives will discuss disaster intelligence collection and
sharing; ways to support whole community disaster recovery; training
and exercises; managing volunteers and donations; resource
identification and management; transportation issues following a
disaster; and technology for sharing information. On the final day,
participants will develop a regional plan for public-private
preparedness, response, recovery and risk reduction and a timeline
for implementing that plan.
[to top of second column]
Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management
Agency, said the Capstone 14 initiative provides another opportunity
for Illinois to forge important alliances with the private sector.
Monken said IEMA recently signed an agreement with Sears Holdings
that will enhance the state's ability to understand the impact of an
emergency, more effectively respond to disasters and speed recovery
for affected communities.
Under the agreement, the Illinois-based company will partner with
IEMA whenever possible to support state disaster response by
providing expertise and situational information, opening stores as
soon as possible following a disaster and donating needed supplies.
"Following most disasters, local businesses are often the
entities that can most quickly and accurately determine the extent
of a disaster and are a key component for the state to support
community recovery," said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. "By the
public and private sectors working in partnership in response to a
disaster, we can accomplish much more than through separate and
disparate efforts. We hope this agreement will serve as a catalyst
for other businesses to also partner with us to further enhance
During a disaster, IEMA's director can contact Sears Holdings to
gather situational awareness the company may be able to provide or
to request assistance, such as the donation of supplies that are
unavailable at the local or state levels. By better understanding
the impact of an emergency, responders will be able to more
appropriately allocate resources and services, thus limiting the
impact of a disaster on the community.
Emergency Management Agency file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]