A Disaster Anniversary Spikes Preparation for the Next
JEFFERSON CITY - The 200th anniversary of the New Madrid Earthquake hit Tuesday and more than one million people across nine states participated in the 2012 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, including the staff and volunteers at The American Red Cross Capital Area Chapter.
In the winter of 1811-12, three earthquakes estimated at magnitude 7.0 or greater occurred in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), the last one ocurring on February 7th. The NMSZ is the nation's most active seismic zone east of the Rocky Mountains.
February is Earthquake Awareness Month and Missourians joined to "drop, cover and hold on" for 60 seconds as apart of the Great Central Earthquake drill. The drill was just one of the events to promote earthquake awareness and preparation this month.
The American Red Cross promotes preparation for any disaster and the widespread effects of an earthquake can be catastrophic, said American Red Cross Emergency Disaster Coordinator Phillip Iman. "The first thing that you should do is to have a plan. You, your family, whether you're at work or whether you're at home, create a plan about what you're going to do when something happens," he said.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency plans for emergency preparation with the Red Cross and created a map of projected damage and intensities if another earthquake like the New Madrids were to hit Missouri.
"Because something like this [an earthquake] doesn't happen very often, people forget, so just like everything else you have to exercise and carry out those plans just so you remember what to do" Iman said.
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