When thinking about earthquakes, people tend to associate them with the west coast of the United States. Though they are more frequent over there, it is still important for people to prepare for earthquakes here in the Central United States. Like tornadoes, (which are more frequent in the central U.S.) earthquakes are a devastating natural disaster that can do massive amounts of damage, so understanding them and having a plan when one occurs is key!
The New Madrid Seismic Zone runs through parts of states such as Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois, and can even reach Indiana and Mississippi with more severe earthquakes. Many do not know that this is the most active seismic zone east of the Rocky Mountains.
Being prepared in case of an emergency such as an earthquake should be a priority, and here are some tips to get you there:
Have a plan – Understanding the layout of your home or apartment complex is essential. You will want to know where your emergency equipment or kit is located, and that you have easy access to it. You also need to have important contact information on standby so you know how to get ahold of your loved ones.
Get to cover – During an earthquake, you will want to seek cover underneath a table or another piece of furniture. Once the shaking stops, you will want to wait for a couple of minutes in case aftershocks occur. Aftershocks are unpredictable so they are always something to be wary of.
Check for damage – Evaluate the situation, if you feel it is safe to get from your covered position, you will want to check yourself and your loved ones for injuries. After that, check for damage to your home and the area around it. Checking for broken glass is important and checking your appliances will help you determine the damage done by the earthquake.
Earthquakes are a serious event and need to be treated and prepared for as such. As previously stated, the New Madrid Seismic Zone is extremely active, and all it takes is one high magnitude earthquake to do serious damage. Make sure you have an emergency kit on standby and a plan of action in case of an earthquake, you will thank yourself for it!