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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Feb. 6, 2012

University community encouraged to be prepared when earthquake strikes

Missouri is one of several states encouraging residents to participate in a simultaneous earthquake drill. At 10:15 a.m. Feb. 7, thousands of residents throughout the Midwest will practice the "Drop, Cover, Hold On" technique for 60 seconds.

    • DROP to the ground
    • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table
    • HOLD ON until the shaking stops

To learn more about the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut or to register, visit For earthquake preparedness tips, visit

In conjunction with the second annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, Northwest Missouri State University reminds individuals this week to familiarize themselves with the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" method in the event of an earthquake. 

Nine states across the central United States, including Missouri, are participating in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7. The U.S. ShakeOut is a public earthquake drill organized and coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its member and associate states, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and dozens of other partners. FEMA encouraged residents across the central United States to participate in the event, including schools, businesses, governments and other organizations.

The purpose of the event is to help individuals and organizations located near the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the central U.S. States to be better prepared for a major earthquake and to practice protecting themselves.

“Everyone has a role in disaster preparedness, and drills like this one offer a valuable opportunity for all levels of government, non-profit and faith-based organizations, the private sector, and the public to put their preparedness plans into action,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Participating in this drill, putting together a disaster preparedness plan and building a kit are simple steps that everyone can take.”

The New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, is the nation's most active earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains. At least three of the largest earthquakes in history in the continental United States are believed to have occurred in that area in 1811-12. The largest of the quakes was centered in the southeast Missouri town of New Madrid and occurred on Feb. 7, 1812. Scientists estimate the probability of a magnitude 6.0 or larger earthquake occurring along the New Madrid Seismic Zone within any 50-year period is 25-40 percent. 

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468