Missouri Emergency Agency emphasizes the importance in earthquake preparedness
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri is home to one of the largest active seismic zones in the US. The New Madrid fault line experiences 200 earthquakes annually. Emergency officials want you to know how to prepare if a disaster strikes.
Unlike other natural disasters, an earthquake can happen anytime without warning. That’s why it is so important to prepare now for the unthinkable to happen. Emergency officials say that while Missouri hasn’t had a massive earthquake in 200 years, there’s a chance we could experience a disaster as we saw in Turkey this week. Here’s what you need to know, so you are prepared.
Before an earthquake hits, secure large furniture like bookshelves and overhead light fixtures. Many injuries in an earthquake happen because of falling debris. Make an emergency plan. Have an emergency kit ready. You also want to be sure your property is covered by earthquake insurance.
When an earthquake happens, you may experience more than just the earth-shaking. People often report hearing loud booms like an explosion or a train. Remember to drop, cover, and hang on if the earth starts to shake. Get low to the ground, get under a desk or in an inner room, and wait for the shaking to stop.
“If you get under a desk or a table, that’s the thing to do,” said Jeff Briggs, Earthquake Program Manager with the Missouri Emergency Management Agency. “Protect yourself from that falling debris. If that’s not possible, drop down to the ground. Try to avoid anything that might fall on you and cover up your head with your arms and hands. And then the third step is to hold on to whatever’s protecting you until the shaking stops.”
.After the shaking stops, you may need to know how to turn off the utilities in case of a broken pipeline. Have a communication plan and contact a friend or family member who lives at least 100 miles away to let them know you’re ok.
“We may not be able to communicate well with each other immediately after an earthquake. We may not have power,” said Briggs. “You may not have cell service or very limited cell service. So if there’s a person who lives far away that you can identify now that you can maybe send a text to texts get through better. That’s a way that you can quickly assure everyone that everybody’s safe.”
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