Students and staff in Lemont-Bromberek School District 113A will “drop, cover and hold on” as they take part in the Great Central U.S. Shakeout Thursday morning.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging Illinois residents to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut at 10:15 a.m. Feb. 7. The "Drop, Cover and Hold On" drill will be conducted simultaneously with other states in the Central U.S. to draw attention to the earthquake hazard that exists in Illinois and other states in the region.
According to the IEMA, damaging earthquakes can happen when we least expect them, causing widespread damage and disruption. The Aug. 23, 2011, magnitude 5.8 earthquake that shook the entire Eastern Seaboard is a good example.
Earthquake preparedness is also important in Illinois, which is home to two major earthquake faults -- the New Madrid and Wabash Valley. Feb. 7, the day of the drill, marks the 201st anniversary of the last of the 1811-12 New Madrid Fault earthquakes. Northern Illinois also has experienced several small quakes in the past 100 years, IEMA officials said.
Last year, more than 2.4 million people across the region participated in the Great Central United States ShakeOut drill. More than 496,000 of those participants were Illinois residents, including nearly 400,000 school children.
As with tornadoes, fire and other threats, practice is essential, which is the purpose of the ShakeOut drill. On the day of the drill, students and staff will be asked to practice "Drop, Cover, and Hold On," the recommended actions to take during earthquake shaking. The drill offers schools an opportunity to set aside time to plan how they would respond in an earthquake.
Visit the Shakeout website for free earthquake information and resources that can be downloaded -- such as fact sheets, drill manuals and broadcasts, flyers, videos and other materials.
Editor's note: Information for this story is from a press release provided by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
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