News Release 017

February is Earthquake Awareness Month in Missouri

Volume 39-017 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

ROLLA, MO, FEB. 3, 2011 – Nearly 200 years ago, Missourians experienced powerful earthquakes in the Bootheel region of the state. Three earthquakes, estimated at magnitude 7.0 or greater occurred along the New Madrid fault in the winter of 1811-12.

Small earthquakes occur in the region daily. While earthquakes along the fault do not cause loss of life, they are a natural hazard that no one can predict. Fortunately, there are things everyone can do to be better prepared.

Each February Missouri observes Earthquake Awareness Month. To raise awareness, geologists with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will partner with local, state and federal agencies and organizations by participating in a number of public activities by providing scientific data about the New Madrid Seismic Zone, mapping for risk assessment, and geologic information about the basics of earthquakes. Missourians are encouraged to attend any of the following public events. Other venues and activities may be added. See this website for additional information:

Thursday, Feb. 10 – Shrewsbury: An “Earthquake Outreach Tour” event will be held in Shrewsbury. State and local partners are teaming with the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Institute for Business & Home Safety to launch this educational campaign for residents and business owners. Messages will be tailored for business and residential audiences, who will walk away with the tools they need to become better prepared and resilient should another earthquake occur. The event will be held at the Shrewsbury City Center, 5200 Shrewsbury Ave. in Shrewsbury from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 11 – St. Louis: “Earthquakes: Mean Business” seminar hosted by St. Louis University. Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator W. Craig Fugate will be among the disaster preparedness and emergency management experts taking part in the seminar focused on disaster preparedness and business continuity planning. This program is for decision-makers in business and industry, elected government leaders, and others whose interests include earthquake risks, risk management, business continuity, and contingency planning. Information presented is appropriate for anyone interested in earthquakes, earthquake risk and mitigation, emergency management, business continuity, or citizen preparedness. The program will consist of morning presentations, a luncheon seminar and afternoon break-out sessions. Attendees must register in advance. St. Louis University, Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand Blvd. in St. Louis from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 17 – Online: FEMA Webinar: “Earthquake Safety and Mitigation for Schools,” a one-hour session for school officials, teachers, facility managers and other local stakeholders interested in learning how to reduce earthquake risks and take actions to ensure school safety and continued operations. Webinar begins at 3 p.m. CST. Registration is free:

Saturday, Feb. 19 – Leasburg: The Earth Moves Under Our Feet event, "Hidden Fury: The New Madrid Seismic Zone” video and discussion with Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Geology and Land Survey division geohazards geologist at Onondaga Cave State Park, Leasburg, 10:30 a.m. The park is located seven miles southeast of the Leasburg exit off of U.S. Interstate 44 on State Highway H.

Saturday, Feb. 26 – Malden: Earthquake awareness for the general public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Bootheel Youth Museum, 700A N. Douglas in Malden.

Organizations from across the United States will participate in events this year and in 2012 to mark the bicentennial of the historic earthquakes. Events range from conferences, workshops, public outreach events, multi-state earthquake exercises, field trips and more.

On April 28, Missourians have the opportunity to participate with others in the inaugural Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, an earthquake preparedness drill that provides a chance to practice the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions that should be taken in the event of a real earthquake. The ShakeOut will be held April 28, 2011 at 10:15 a.m.

To promote the ShakeOut, the department is offering a contest for Missouri K-12 students interested in submitting an educational video. Deadline for entries is March 31. Learn more online:

In addition to awareness programs, geologists with the department's Geology and Land Survey division are actively conducting hazards mapping projects to better understand impacts from seismic events such as ground collapse, soil liquefaction, landslides and flooding. Additionally, in the event of a large, damaging earthquake, the division will activate the Post-Technical Earthquake Clearinghouse. The PETIC will serve as a clearinghouse to coordinate research activities and to facilitate collaboration between the emergency management and research communities following a large, damaging earthquake in the region. The PETIC will be located at the department's Division of Geology and Land Survey, 111 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla. For more information about earthquakes and Missouri geology, visit:


Editor: Photos are available at