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Earthquake Awareness Month

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed February as Earthquake Awareness Month in Kentucky as local, state and federal officials continue to prepare for The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill, scheduled for February 7, 2013.

The 2013 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is expected to involve more than 2 million people through a broad‐based outreach program, partnerships with the media and public advocacy. This event is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) which includes the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The ShakeOut will be centered around a simultaneous Drop, Cover and Hold On earthquake preparedness drill that will be held at 10:15 a.m. Central Time on February 7, 2013. Drop, Cover and Hold On is the easy‐to remember and recommended personal protective action to take in the event of an earthquake.

February 7th is also the 201st anniversary of the last of the 1811‐12 earthquakes that destroyed the town of New Madrid, Missouri and created Reelfoot Lake in northwest Tennessee.

Scientists, experts and emergency management officials are aware earthquakes similar to, if not greater than, those that struck in 1811 - 12 could hit Kentucky anywhere, at any time, and are taking steps to educate and prepare Kentuckians, and others alike.

“Interested participants are encouraged to go to http://www.shakeout.org/centralus and pledge their family, school, business or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness” said William R. Turner, director of the Campbell County Office of Emergency Management.

“Unlike the weather, earthquakes cannot be predicted,” said John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management. “An earthquake similar to those experienced in 1811 - 12 would be catastrophic today and that is why we should take time now to educate ourselves and practice this drill in order to better protect ourselves and lessen that impact.”

Interested participants are encouraged to go to http://www.shakeout.org/centralus and pledge their family, school, business or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness.

The Drop, Cover and Hold On drill is a two minute commitment for something that can save your life. It all begins with registering, which is free and open to everyone.

Individuals and their families can take the following steps to prepare for earthquakes:

  • Know and practice the Drop, Cover and Hold On drill
  • Get an emergency supply kit
  • Make a family communications plan
  • Stay informed of the risks in your community
  • Check for hazards in the home
  • Identify safe places indoors and outdoors
  • Educate yourself and family members

Last year more than 2.4 million people participated in the ShakeOut Drill with 430,00 registered from Kentucky.

For more information on the ShakeOut and to register visit http://www.shakeout.org/centralus or http://www.kyem.ky.gov/programs/Pages/Earthquake. Both websites offer useful resources and a short video demonstrating the Drop, Cover and Hold On drill. Information on this year’s KYEM Earthquake Awareness Contests where students can compete to win an iPad or eReader is also on the KYEM website.

Information on the Campbell County Office of Emergency Management can be found by visiting http://www.campbellcountyky.org/home/services/public-safety/emergency-management.html.

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