SPRINGFIELD – Recognizing the seismic risk in Illinois and the need for residents to be prepared for a major earthquake, Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed February Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois. A multi-state earthquake drill set for Feb. 7 will provide an excellent opportunity for people to learn how to stay safe during an earthquake.
“Earlier this week, Northern Illinois residents experienced a small earthquake, which, fortunately, was not serious,” Gov. Quinn said. “It was, however, an important reminder for people to brush up on earthquake safety, which can help save lives if a major earthquake occurs. I encourage everyone to learn more about earthquake preparedness and to take part in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill next week.”
The second annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill will take place at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 7. To date, more than 400,000 Illinois residents have registered to take part in the drill, which should only take a few minutes. The intent of the drill is for people to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions.
“Drop, Cover and Hold On” reminds people to “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.
“We are very excited that more than 400,000 people in Illinois have already registered to participate in the Great Central U.S. Shakeout,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “This drill is helping to raise public awareness of the earthquake risk in our region and teaches people what they can do to stay safe if an earthquake occurs.”
Monken said the lessons learned from the drill could also prove valuable when people travel to other parts of the U.S. or foreign counties where earthquakes may occur.
More than two million people in nine states have registered to participate in the ShakeOut drill. Besides Illinois, states participating in the drill include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
To help people learn more about the earthquake risk in Illinois and how they can prepare, IEMA has an “Earthquakes in Illinois” section on its website (www.iema.illinois.gov). The section features comprehensive information about steps people can take before, during and after an earthquake, as well as an interactive “Earthquake Home Hazard Hunt” to help people identify and correct hazards in their homes.
One of the most important steps people can take to prepare for an earthquake or other emergency is to develop a disaster preparedness kit. The kit should include water, non-perishable food, flashlights, a battery-operated radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit and other supplies to help people survive for a minimum of three days following a disaster.
To register for the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut visit www.shakeout.org/centralus. For more information about earthquake and disaster preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.