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Governor Quinn Urging Illinoisians to Participate in Great Earthquake Shakeout Drill

By Will Doolin, WJBD News

February is Earthquake Prepardness Month in Illinois and Governor Pat Quinn is urging everyone to participate in what is known as the “largest earthquake drill in the history of the Midwest”.  

The third annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut drill is scheduled for February 7th at 10:15 a.m.  Governor Quinn is also calling for everyone to learn more about earthquake preparedness. More than 410,000 Illinois residents have registered to participate in the drill. More than two-million-people in nine-states have registered to participate in the drill.

The drill, "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.  It is also important to have a disaster preparedness kit on hand.  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.  

The state of Illinois sits on the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone.  The most powerful series of earthquakes ever to hit the country happened in 1811-12 near New Madrid, Missouri. In a 2008 study conducted by the University of Illinois Mid-America Earthquake Center, it was projected that if a similar quake struck the same region today, there would be 3,500 fatalities, 2.6 million people without electricity and $300 billion in direct economic losses. Bridges, docks, highways and water infrastructure would be in shambles.

To learn more about the earthquake risk in Illinois and how you can prepare, visit www.iema.illinois.gov. 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.

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