Earthquake Response Recommendations

Earthquake Response Recommendations
By: Crystal Britt
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - How prepared are we for an earthquake? Two months ago southeast Missouri leaders carried out a three day long drill to see what it takes, and if public safety is ready to respond to a quake along the New Madrid fault line. 
Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson met with regional emergency management officials in Cape Girardeau Thursday to discuss the recent results of the three-day statewide earthquake exercise.
A lot of issues came up.  The biggest concern: communications.  According to leaders at the meeting, Missouri's radio system is 30 years old and it's time for a replacement.  A lot of agencies have even tried satellite phones, and several people at the meeting voiced concerns about how those don't work and aren't worth the money. 
Organizers plan to have more exercises in the future getting southeast Missouri prepared for the big one.  
"There's always room for improvement, no one would ever come forward and say we're ready to go...no.  However, I don't think we're anywhere close to having a failing grade," said Assistant Cape Girardeau Fire Chief Mark Hasheider. 
"This is really important.  It just helps us for an earthquake, if we have a big flood, tornadoes, any kind of natural disaster.  We're also going to have to depend on one another," said U.S. Representative Jo Ann Emerson.
Other concerns include medical and health issues, plus water, shelter, and transportation.
Follow-up drills are planned, including an eight state, full-scale exercise coming up in 2011.