POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - An “Earthquake 101” event is being held on Thursday night, February 20.
The event is open to the public from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center at Three Rivers College.
Experts will include Thomas L. Pratt, Ph.D. - research geophysicist, Central and Eastern U.S. Coordinator of USGS Earthquake Hazards Program; Eric Fuchs, emergency response coordinator of Missouri Rural Water Association; Daryl Sorrell, general manager at M&A Electric Cooperative; Chris Engelbrecht, assistant to the chief of safety and operations officer at Missouri Department of Transportation; Major Tyler Rinehart with the Missouri National Guard; Angela L. Nelson, MBA, AMCM, FHIAS, director division of insurance market regulation with the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance; Ricky King, public safety specialist with Spire Energy; and Robbie Myers, director of Butler County Emergency Management.
For example, there is no way anyone can know when the next earthquake will strike. That’s why emergency officials from all over Missouri are in Poplar Bluff talking about how communities should be more prepared for the next one.
“To know when the shaking starts, do you know what to do?"said Jeff Briggs, Earthquake Program Manager.
Briggs wants you to be prepared.
“When a large earthquake does happen and experts say it will happen one of these days, we don’t know when. It has the potential to be the most damaging natural disaster any of us has ever seen,” he said.
So, what do you do?
“What you should do is drop, cover and hold on. Just drop to the ground, cover up, get away from any debris and then cover up anyway you can,” said Briggs.
He also said take a look at the things around your house.
“maybe if you’ve got heavy objects on tall shelves that may not be a good idea. Maybe you need to secure something to the wall, maybe if you got a big old wobbly bookcase right next to your bed maybe you should move that. If there were simple things like that you could know in advance that would be key in preparing,”he said.
Briggs said talking about it is the only way you can be ready for an earthquake.
“It’s gonna happen with no notice, you are going to be shook and you’re just going to be doing what you’re normally doing that day. So it is critical if we know the risk exist is to talk now about what to do when the shaking starts,” he said.
One woman at the earthquake summit came all the way from California to share her earthquake story from July 2019.
“They weren’t sure if the 6.4 was our major event and they foretasted that we might have a larger event and we did so since then we’ve gone through about 43,000 aftershocks,” said Stephanie Meeks.
Meeks lives in Ridgecrest California and had two large earthquakes in just two days.
Meeks strongly agrees with Briggs, be ready.
“Get your family ready so you can help If not volunteer to respond, at least you’re taking that burden off all those programs that are going to have to take care of an emergency situation so be prepared,” said Meeks.
Click here If you want to learn more about preparing an emergency kit.