CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today encouraged every Illinois resident, school and business to participate in a multi-state, international earthquake drill on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. This will mark the fourth time Illinois has participated in the ShakeOut drills, which are designed to encourage residents to think about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
“The Great ShakeOut is one of the easiest ways to be prepared for a potential disaster,” Governor Quinn said. “By investing just two minutes to register and participate in the drill, you’ll be better prepared if you ever experience an earthquake. I encourage everyone in Illinois to join with people around the world in the Great ShakeOut.”
Participants can register for the drill online at shakeout.org/centralus. More than 490,000 Illinois residents are already registered for the drill.
The ShakeOut drill focuses on the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions people should take when a quake begins: “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk or table, and “Hold On” until the shaking stops.
Illinois sits atop two major fault zones, the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. The most powerful series of earthquakes ever to hit the United States happened in 1811-12 near New Madrid, Missouri.
“The ShakeOut drill raises awareness about the threat of earthquakes in Illinois,” said Jonathon Monken, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). “The drill only takes a few minutes, but the lessons learned can save countless lives.”
Director Monken noted that the Ready Illinois website (Ready.Illinois.gov) provides tips for emergency planning, such as knowing escape routes and family reunification plans, building an earthquake kit and caring for pets. The site also offers tips on how to prevent injuries during a seismic event, such as by avoiding bookcases, or, if driving, viaducts.