The Great Central U.S. Shakeout

Thursday, April 28 the department will join more than 2.9 million people at 10:15 a.m. to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill.

The exercise teaches "Drop, Cover and Hold On" as the best way to protect oneself in the event of an actual earthquake.  Please watch this video in which Joe Gillman, Geological Survey Division Director and our State Geologist, provides information about Thursday's exercise.

Additional Information

Multi-state participation

The ShakeOut drill will involve 11 states and will be the largest earthquake preparedness event in central U.S. history, and is the first statewide earthquake preparedness drill to be held in Missouri.

Earthquake hazard in Missouri

Most of us probably do not think of Missouri as being at risk of a major earthquake. However, from December 16, 1811 to February 7, 1812, Missouri was rocked by at least three of the largest earthquakes ever to hit the continental United States. The most powerful was centered in New Madrid, in southeast Missouri. More than 40 million people live and work in the central United States, and a major earthquake could cause unprecedented disruption and devastation.

Why practice?

What we do now will determine what our lives will be like following a damaging earthquake. Last month, Missourians practiced protective actions taken when tornado warnings are issued. Because earthquakes cannot be predicted and no warning can be issued, we must all know what to do when ground shaking occurs. We must act quickly to ensure that disasters resulting from earthquakes do not become catastrophes. We must also tell our family members and friends what to do in the event of ground shaking.

What should I do?

While indoors during this personal safety drill, the main thing to remember is to DROP to the ground; take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk near you, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building. If outdoors, stay away from buildings, trees, and power lines.

Learn More

Learn more about earthquake potential in Missouri and share this information with family and friends about participating in the ShakeOut by visiting this website: /shakeout.

Missouri school children teach about preparedness

Also, be sure to check out the creative instructional videos submitted by Missouri school children for our Show-Me Earthquake Safety Video Contest: /geology/shakeoutwinners.htm