IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes
Preparedness actions can prevent injuries, reduce
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[February 23, 2017]
– In recognition of the earthquake risk in southern Illinois from
the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones, the Illinois
Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management
agencies will promote earthquake preparedness throughout February.
“While we don’t experience major earthquakes with the same
frequency as the western U.S., some of the most powerful earthquakes
to ever occur in the continental U.S. happened along the New Madrid
seismic zone about 200 years ago,” said IEMA Director James K.
Joseph. “We can’t predict when the next major earthquake will occur,
but we can help people learn how to stay safe and reduce damage to
In conjunction with Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois, IEMA
is adding a new 30-second TV spot to the Ready Illinois broadcast
preparedness campaign, which is aired in cooperation with the
Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Public Education Partnership
(PEP) program. The new spot directs people to the Ready Illinois
website for information on how to prepare their homes for an
earthquake. It will air on IBA member TV stations serving residents
of southern Illinois, where the greatest risk of earthquakes in
Illinois exists. The spot is also available on the Ready Illinois
Joseph noted that the actual movement of the ground in an earthquake
is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most casualties
result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.
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Learning how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” can help people prevent injury during
an earthquake. The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover
under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object and be
prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.
There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property
damage at home, such as anchoring bookshelves, overhead light fixtures, wall
hanging and large appliances, learning how to shut off gas, water and
electricity and placing heavy objects on lower shelves.
More information about earthquake preparedness is available at
[Patti Thompson, Illinois Emergency