People throughout Missouri participate in ShakeOut drill

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COLUMBIA - More than 500,000 Missourians including local schools, organizations and hospitals participated in the 2016 Great Central U. S. "ShakeOut."

Over two million people signed up to participate in 14 central states that could be impacted by a major New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake. 

Participants went through the “Drop, Cover, Hold On” routine, which, according to a press release sent by organizers of the event, is the best thing to do during an earthquake. One must drop to their hands and knees, especially under a table or desk if possible, cover their head and neck with their hands and arms, and hold on until the shaking stops.

This the best way to protect yourself from falling debris, which is the most likely cause of injury during an earthquake in developed nations with modern building standards.

"It's very important for people to immediately know what to do to protect themselves because earthquakes occur without warning," State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron Walker said. "If you and your family know in advance how to react and take cover, it could prevent serious injury."

A Columbia organization that participated was the Boone County Family Resources, which has more than 70 employees. One said being ready is what counts.

"We do safety drills to ensure the safety of the employees and any of the people we support and any families who may be visiting and any visitors," Laura Cravens from Boone County Resource Center said.

To learn more about earthquakes in Missouri and how to prepare, visit the Missouri Department of Public Safety website.