Mid-Southerners take part in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – More than 16 million people were expected to take part in the 2019 Great ShakeOut Thursday.

There’s no warning when an earthquake will strike, so that’s why Shelby County Emergency Management says it’s important to be prepared and know how to react when one does.

At 10:17 a.m. Thursday, participating schools and businesses across the Mid-South and country dropped, covered, and held on. That’s the proper self-protection technique in the event of an earthquake.

To protect yourself in an earthquake experts say you should drop to the ground onto your hands and knees, cover your head with your arm, and get under a table or desk and hold on to it until the shaking stops.

“There’s a possibility that it could happen. Of course we don’t want it to happen. We don’t want it to happen for another thousand years. The possibility that it could happen and because there’s a possibility it could happen, we want our citizens to be prepared,” Brenda Jones, Shelby Co. Emergency Management director said.

The Mid-South sits on the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the most active seismic zone east of the Rockies.

Hundreds of earthquakes happen each year within the zone that stretches from southern Illinois down to Mississippi but many can’t be felt.

In 1811, a magnitude 7.2–8.2 earthquake hit the Mid-South. The last major earthquake in Memphis was in 1865. That was a 5.0 magnitude quake.

In 1976, a 5.0 earthquake was recorded in Poinsettia County, Arkansas.

Jones said there’s no telling when another earthquake will happen but it’s important to be prepared regardless.

For more information, click HERE.

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