SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is encouraging all families, schools, businesses and other organizations to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on October 15, 2020, at 10:15 am. The goal of this “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill is to improve preparedness and draw attention to the earthquake hazards that exist in Illinois, across the country and around the world.

ShakeOut is an international event involving millions of participants from more than 40 states and territories and several countries. To date, millions of people have registered worldwide, but so far only 940,000 people have registered in the United States. In Illinois, there are currently 100,694 registered participants. Local emergency managers throughout the state are hoping to increase that number as we approach the day of the drill.

“Tornadoes and floods can be forecasted to give you advance warning to take cover, but there is no way to predict when an earthquake will occur,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill is a quick and easy way for people to practice steps that could save their lives.”

Why is this important?
Earthquakes can occur at anytime, anywhere and without warning. While we often associate earthquakes with the west coast, quakes can and do occur closer to home. Illinois is positioned between two active seismic zones, the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. Earthquakes were reported in Illinois in 2012 (McHenry County), 2010 (Kane County) and 2008 (Wabash County). In fact, an earthquake in any of our neighboring states could be felt by residents in Illinois. This underscores the importance of preparedness. An earthquake can strike when you are at work, at home, at school, or while on vacation. When you are asleep in your bed or at an afternoon ballgame. ShakeOut provides the opportunity to practice what you would do in the event of an earthquake.

Shakeout Participation is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. REGISTER your home, school, business or organization on the ShakeOut website: www.ShakeOut.org/centralus. Once registered, your point of contact will receive important information about earthquakes and preparedness.

2. MAKE A PLAN. Build an emergency supply kit for your family. Talk to your family members about what you should do in the event of an earthquake. Secure heavy items in your home like bookcases, refrigerators, televisions and objects that hang on the wall. Evaluate your home for structural issues.

3. PRACTICE “DROP, COVER and HOLD ON” on October 15, 2020, at 10:15 am.
Drop to the ground onto your hands and knees.
Cover your head and neck with one arm to protect yourself from falling objects.
Hold On to a sturdy table or desk until the shaking is done.
These are the recommended actions to protect yourself during an earthquake.

Additional earthquake preparedness and mitigation information is available on the following websites: http://www.ready.illinois.gov and http://www.cusec.org.

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