Did you feel the earth shake? Maybe not but nearly 3 million people in the heartland are signed up to simulate recommended safety actions during an earthquake.
Oklahoma has seen more than its share of quakes in the past 18 months with some causing damage to homes and businesses. That spurred Oklahoma to join eight other states where everyone will be asked to drop, cover, and hold at 10:15 a.m. Thursday in the 2013 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut. The Shake Out is a way to bring attention to what experts say everyone should do the next time an earthquake rumbles our state.
Also involved are Tennessee, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Mississippi.
In 2012 nearly 13 million people registered for the ShakeOut drills worldwide. There is concern among scientists that chances for a major destructive earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone remains high.
The zone covers the Central U.S. including many important military installations as well as billions of dollars in commercial development.
The movement to get more people to pay attention to earthquakes began, not surprisingly, in California.
Aimee Gibson is a research scientist involved in the drill. She told KRMG news there is a better way to survive a quake. “It’s best for people to get underneath their desk and hang on instead of the old way of getting into the doorway, that’s not the way to do it.”
The first ShakeOut was based on a study of earthquake research in southern California known as "The ShakeOut Scenario." That project was spearheaded by the United States Geological Survey and other interested partners, it was finished in 2008.
The initial success of the 2008 event had everyone paying attention and gave organizers the idea to move outside the west coast and turn it into an annual day of disaster preparedness.
Nationwide, ShakeOut activities are now coordinated and supported by many agencies and partners including SCEC, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC), the American Red Cross, and others.