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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

April 26, 2011

Know how to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold on’ when an earthquake strikes

Missouri is one of seven Midwest states encouraging residents to participate in a simultaneous earthquake drill. At 10:15 a.m. on April 28, thousands of citizens 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 visit the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency’s earthquake information center by clicking here. The website includes:

  • Three minute video showing how a fourth grade class takes part in a “Drop, Cover, Hold On” drill
  • A brief slide show highlighting earthquake history and preparedness in Missouri
  • Information about Missouri earthquakes, including a simulation of what a big one could feel like!

MARYVILLE, Mo. - While California and other states frequently conduct earthquake drills, Missouri on Thursday is participating in the first multistate earthquake drill, and the first drill in the central U.S., where many states would be impacted if a major earthquake hit the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  

Eleven states in the New Madrid Seismic Zone are participating in the drill, the "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut," which takes place at 10:15 am central time. Anyone can register to participate, whether at school, at work, or at home; to date, over two million Americans have signed up.

Northwest Missouri State University encourages its students, employees and visitors to familiarize themselves with the "Drop, Cover, and Hold On" method of protecting themselves during an earthquake. A major NMSZ earthquake would have a devastating impact on much of the Midwest. The purpose of the ShakeOut is to help individuals and organizations be better prepared for major earthquakes and to practice how to protect ourselves when they happen.

Anyone can sign up to participate in the ShakeOut by going to Instructions and resources also are available on the website.
In addition, the Department of Education's Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center provides guidance to help schools and communities can plan for, respond to, and recover from a disaster such as an earthquake.

The first ShakeOut in the central U.S. also coincides with the bicentennial anniversary of the great New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812.

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. The earthquakes altered the flow of the Mississippi River, turned rich farmland into fields of sand and destroyed countless structures. People on the East Coast of the United States felt shaking and church bells reportedly rang as far away as New England. Although no one can predict future earthquakes, scientists say it's only a matter of time before another major quake strikes the area.

Other participating states include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

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