IEMA advising residents to know Earthquake Preparedness Tips

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ILLINOIS – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency manage agencies are encouraging residents to learn more about earthquake preparedness.

IEMA officials say just over 200 years ago, parts of Illinois and several other states in the central United States were shaken up by some of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in North America. The strongest of those quakes was estimated to be around magnitude 8.0.

An earthquake risk is also still posed by the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones in southern Illinois.

IEMA Director James Joseph says while this happened very long, the threat of earthquakes should not be taken lightly.

“A similar earthquake today would have a devastating impact on millions of people in the region. While we can’t predict when the next major temblor will occur, we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes,” Joseph says.

Joseph adds that the actual movement of the ground in an earthquake is not often the direct cause of death or injury. Most causalities comes as a result of falling objects and debris caused by the shaking.

Officials say residents should utilize the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” technique. This phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture and hold on to that object then be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.

IEMA officials also advise following these tips to prevent injuries and damages:

  • Strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs
  • Anchoring overhead light fixtures
  • Fastening shelves to wall studs and securing cabinet doors with latches
  • Strapping TVs, computers and other heavy equipment to prevent tipping
  • Learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged

More information about earthquake preparedness is available here. Further safety tips will also be posted throughout February on the Ready Illinois Facebook and Twitter pages.

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