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IEMA Highlights Earthquake Preparedness in April – Agency encourages participation in The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 60,000 Illinois residents have already registered to participate in a multi-state earthquake drill in April, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging even more groups and individuals to join in “The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” on April 28.  The drill coincides with IEMA’s annual observation of Earthquake Preparedness Month every April.

“With the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones located in southern Illinois, it’s important for people to know how to stay safe if a major earthquake occurs,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken.  “The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut will be the perfect opportunity for families, businesses, schools and other groups to practice the Drop, Cover and Hold On’ protective actions they should take during an earthquake.”

Monken explained that the slogan “Drop, Cover and Hold On” reminds people to “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends. 

More than 1.6 million people in 11 states currently are registered to participate in the Shakeout drill, which will begin at 10:15 a.m. on April 28.

Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at http://www.shakeout.org/centralus.  Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness.  IEMA was among the first Illinois organizations to register to participate in the drill.

“The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” drill is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), which includes members from states impacted by the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  Other partners include state and local emergency management agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Citizen Corps, U.S. Geological Survey, the American Red Cross and other public and private entities.

Besides Illinois, other states participating in the drill include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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