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Drop, Cover, and Hold On: Earthquake Drill Set for 10-19 at 10:19 a.m.

Oct 5, 2017

At 10:19am on Thursday, October 19, 2017, millions of people in the Central United States will Drop, Cover, and Hold On as they seek shelter under their desks, kitchen tables, and other sturdy objects as part of the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.

At the designated time, Peoria City/County Health Department staff will practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions people should take when an earthquake begins: “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture until the shaking stops.

“The earthquake drill only takes a few minutes, but the lessons learned can save countless lives,” said Jason Marks, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Peoria City/County Health Department. “People travel all over the globe where earthquakes can occur, but many people don’t realize that there are also two major seismic faults that stretch throughout Illinois.”

Two well-known seismic zones that reach into Illinois are the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone and the New Madrid Seismic Zone. In 1812 an earthquake occurred in the New Madrid Zone near New Madrid, Missouri and was felt as far away as the East Coast. Since network monitoring began in 1974, over 3000 earthquakes have been recorded. While most did not exceed a magnitude of 5, there is up to a 40% chance of a 6.0 magnitude or greater earthquake in the New Madrid Zone over any 50-year time span.

Marks adds, “We want people to know more about earthquakes and learn what to do when the earth shakes, wherever they are. We encourage everyone to take part in this ShakeOut drill and practice the Drop, Cover, and Hold On drill. Schools, businesses, government agencies, and families can register to participate for the drill at www.shakeout.org/centralus.  Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness, along with an audio that can be played to announce the Shakeout drill.”

More information about the earthquake risk in Illinois, a short video, and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake are available at http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/. For more information on important Public Health issues, visit the Peoria City/County Health Department website at www.pcchd.org.  

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