Earthquake education vital for residents in southeast Missouri

NEW MADRID, Mo. (KBSI) – For southeast Missouri residents, earthquake education and preparation are crucial.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone, sometimes called the New Madrid Fault Line, is a major seismic zone and a source of intraplate earthquakes in the Southern and Midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Mo., according to the U.S. Geologic Survey.

And just last evening, a 3.1 quake was registered in the New Madrid area.

New Madrid Historical Museum Administrator Jeff Grunwald says there is anywhere from a 5 to 10 percent chance of a similar magnitude earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone in the next 50 years.

Have a kit ready. I would say check it at least every year to make sure the stuff in there is still going to be useable and that you don’t have 10-year-old canned food in there,” said Grunwald.

Jeff Briggs, earthquake program coordinator for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, says of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria earlier this week.

“That is along the similar size and magnitude as what we saw in southeast Missouri a little over 200 years ago to give you some idea of the risk we face with the New Madrid Seismic Zone,” said Briggs.

And while we can’t predict when the next major earthquake will happen, Briggs says in the event that it does, being proactive now could save you and others.

Added Briggs: “What’s really rewarding about working in emergency management is the fact that we are really impacting people. When the day does come that they are in a major disaster, if they are prepared, and if we can provide them resources, then we’re really impacting people’s lives, and that’s a great thing.”

Briggs says on of the most important things you can do before an earthquake is to secure heavy objects, and once the shaking commences: drop, cover, and hold on tightly.

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