What should you do if an earthquake strikes? The safest practice is to drop, cover and hold on. While the Marion area and southern Illinois don’t see a large number of earthquakes of any magnitude on a regular basis, the risk is always there for a large quake from the New Madrid Seismic Zone or the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone.
The principals of drop, cover and hold on are encouraged and recommended by emergency management and disaster planners in the United States. The upcoming Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill on February 7 reiterates this principal and urges all citizens to practice it.
According to the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut website, if an earthquake strikes you should:
* Drop down low, to the ground
* Cover — take cover under a sturdy desk or table
* Hold on — until shaking stops
What should you do if you are in a room where there isn’t anything to get underneath? Don’t try to run to another room, just drop down into an inside corner in a crouch and cover your face and head with your arms.
* Don’t run outside
* Don’t stand in a doorway
Dropping to the ground and taking cover is the best and safest practice as is may be difficult to walk or move during the shaking. The shaking from the quake could knock you down and knock objects onto you as you are trying to move — so dropping and taking cover is the best thing you can do.
Are you planning to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut on February 7 at 10:15 a.m.? There are already several Marion-area and southern Illinois families, businesses and organizations signed up to participate and it’s not to late to register. Check out the ShakeOut website at http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/