Godfrey, Ill. – A damaging 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes the Midwest and thousands of students, faculty and staff on campus at Lewis and Clark Community College need to find safety. Would you know what to do?

This year, Lewis and Clark is one of many schools, businesses and individuals – totaling about 1.2 million people so far – taking part in an event called The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut to spread the word about earthquake preparedness and help communities prepare for such an occasion.

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is scheduled to take place at 10:15 a.m. on April 28.

The Metro East may not be well known for earthquakes, but does lie in an area that could sustain major damage in case of a large scale quake within the New Madrid seismic zone. This year, 2011, marks the bicentennial of the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812, which reached magnitudes of 7.7, 7.5 and 7.7 respectively, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Lewis & Clark plans to sound its outdoor warning siren with a voice message on its Godfrey campus to announce the earthquake drill on April 28. People on campus should take a minute to look around and imagine what would happen during the real thing. What would fall on you or others? What would be damaged? What would life be like afterwards? What can you do before an
actual earthquake happens to reduce losses and quickly recover?

Persons inside buildings on campus should practice the “drop, cover, and hold on” method. Find a table or a desk, take cover under it and hold onto that object until the threat is over. Experts warn that other methods can be very dangerous, according to the event website, http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/illinois/. An “all clear” message will sound on the siren when the exercise is over.

This event will be one of the largest earthquake preparedness drills in this region’s history, according to shakeout.org, and a chance for communities in the Midwest to prepare together, before a disaster strikes.

Check www.lc.edu in the coming days for helpful links and more preparedness tips.

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