Arkansans Encouraged To Prepare For Potential Earthquakes

Oct 18, 2016

A map of the New Madrid Fault Line.
Credit USGS / USGS

Arkansans are being asked to join others across the country as they participate in an earthquake drill.

The “Great Central U.S. Shake Out”, is one of many regional earthquake drills being held at 10:20 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. The organization ShakeOut claims to have had over 43 million participants worldwide for the drills in 2015 and hopes for more this year.

Whitney Green, with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), said a geological fault line that runs under Arkansas makes it important for the state to practice preparedness.

“The New Madrid Fault Line is the largest fault line east of the Rocky Mountains and it runs through parts of northeast Arkansas, so the U.S. Geological Survey – they track all of the seismic hazards – and they list Arkansas as one of several states at high risk for earthquakes because we are on this fault line,” said Green.

Green said ADEM is glad to see a number of schools participating because the actions to take in the event of an earthquake differ from those for fires or tornadoes, which are practiced more frequently.

“The way the drill works is you drop to the ground wherever you are, whether you’re in the office or whether you are at home with the kids, drop to the ground,” said Green. “[Then] cover, make sure that your head and your body is covered up whether it be under a table or a desk and then hold on to whatever you can until the shaking stops.”

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has labeled Arkansas at high risk for a severe earthquake within the next 100 years.

Individuals and organizations interested in learning more or registering their participation can do so here.