Drop, cover, hold-on: Earthquake Safety

Being prepared in case of an earthquake
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 3:15 PM CST
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SOUTHEAST Mo. (KFVS) - It’s been 211 years since large earthquakes in New Madrid, Missouri were felt all across the country.

Emergency Management leaders say being prepared is key.

“We can see the rivers rise in a flood and we can see tornadoes developing, earthquakes can just happen instantly,” Robbie Myers, Butler County’s emergency management directors, said.

Myers said you never know when there will be an earthquake, but it’s important to be educated.

“Just getting people prepared for it, a lot of it is just getting people prepared for any disaster,” Myers said.

He posed one important question to ask yourself: What would you need to survive for three days if you couldn’t go out and get anything else?

“Disaster kits, prep kits that are ready for you, that will enable you to get by for at least two weeks before you can get help,” Jeff Grunwald said. He is the administrator at the New Madrid Historical Museum. He said smaller communities like his own have become increasingly self-sufficient.

“Should something happen, we’re probably equipped to withstand at least a couple of weeks before help could get here,” Grunwald said.

Myers said having a plan is key for any disaster.

“Make sure your family has a communication plan, have an emergency kit with three days of food and water, and medicines that your family takes, maybe even some financial papers,” he said.

But during an earthquake, the emergency management director said the best procedure is to drop, cover and hold on.

“If you’re in bed, stay there. If you’re inside, you should wait until the shaking stops. If you’re in your car, you should pull over and try to find a safe area,” he said.

Although they don’t anticipate a large earthquake anytime soon, they say it’s a fact of life here.

“In our lifetimes, we’re going to feel some tremors here in the heartland,” Myers said.

New Madrid is the most seismically active area in the U.S. east of the Rockies.