When it comes to emergency preparedness, most Arkansans think about such natural disasters as tornadoes, floods or ice storms. But there is another threat that the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management wants the state’s residents to prepare for — a major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault, which extends into northeast Arkansas.
To help raise awareness of this threat, Arkansas emergency preparedness officials are joining their counterparts in the rest of the central United States to promote the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut! at 10:18 a.m., Oct. 18. The main activity of the day is the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill.
The drill calls for you to drop to the floor and take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to it.
In the event of a real earthquake, according to the Earthquake Emergency Handbook created by the Western States Seismic Policy Council, you should hold the position under the sturdy furniture until the ground shaking stops and it is safe to move. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
Other tips include:
- Avoid exterior walls, glass windows and overhead equipment or machinery.
- When in a multi-story building, move against an interior wall if you are not near a desk or table. Do not use the elevators.
- When outdoors, move to a clear area away from trees, signs, buildings or overhead wires.
- When driving, pull over to the side of the road and stop. Avoid overpasses and power lines. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops.
To be a part of the ShakeOut! activities, register at Shakeout.org/centralus. Also, download the Drill Broadcast from the list of ShakeOut! resources. And most important, conduct your own “Drop, Cover and Hold On” drill. Share photos and stories about it on social media with #ARemergencies, #showmeyourshakeout and #ShakeOut.
For additional earthquake resources, visit: www.adem.arkansas.gov; www.geology.ar.gov; www.cusec.org; www.shakeout.org.