Peoria County is encouraging the public to join them in participating in The Great Central US ShakeOut earthquake drill on Thursday, October 15, 2020. Sign up at www.shakeout.org.
During the drill, participants should “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” which is the recommended safety procedure to take during an earthquake. “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” entails the following:
- Drop where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
- Cover your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall away from windows. Stay on your knees, and bend over to protect vital organs.
- Hold On until shaking stops. If you are under shelter, hold on to it with one hand and be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts. If you are not under shelter, hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.
Persons with differing abilities may find specific recommendations on safety procedures during an earthquake at www.earthquakecountry.org/disability.
“Earthquakes may not be top-of-mind for our residents, but they are a real hazard for our area,” states Jillian Stowe, Peoria County’s Emergency Preparedness Planner. “Central Illinois is touched by two seismic zones, the New Madrid and Wabash Valley. We must be better prepared and practice how to protect ourselves for when earthquakes happen in order to lessen the chance for injuries.”
The New Madrid Seismic Zone is made up of several faults that stretch from Marked Tree, Arkansas to Cairo, Illinois, and has frequent minor shocks and earthquake activity. Additionally, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone goes from Southeastern Illinois to Southwestern Indiana.
Peoria County will ask staff members to practice “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” as they are able, at 10:15 a.m. on October 15 for 1 minute. While practicing, staff will be asked to look around at what could potentially shift or fall near them, as well as think about what they would do if members of the public were nearby.
The public can register for The Great Central US ShakeOut at www.shakeout.org, as well as find additional details on “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” how to build an emergency kit, and the seismic faults in our area.