'Shakeout' drill prepares for quake

By The Associated Press

School districts, local governments, businesses, families and individuals have signed up to be part of Thursday’s Great Central U.S. Shakeout, an earthquake preparedness drill taking place across several states.
The event, planned for 10:15 a.m., marks the 200th anniversary of an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault that began in December 1811 and continued until February 1812.
It is said to have appeared to change the course of the Mississippi River and was felt from the Gulf Coast to Canada.
“Drop, cover and hold on” is the theme and the instruction for how to react during an earthquake. Thursday’s drill will simulate another catastrophic New Madrid quake and the ability to respond to it at all levels.
Earlier this year Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack asked schools and other organizations to sign up for the drill, and many across Northeast Mississippi have responded.
The New Madrid fault is 150 miles long, beginning at Cairo, Ill. It goes through New Madrid and Caruthersville, Mo., through Blytheville, Ark. and to Marked Tree, Ark. It crosses the Mississippi River three times, into Kentucky, near Fulton, and Tennessee, near Reelfoot Lake, then to Dyersburg, Tenn.
For any individual or group that is not signed up for the Shakeout yet, there is still time. Go to the link at http://www. shakeout.org/centralus/register/.
“As part of their earthquake awareness, we want people to think: ‘What would I do if I were in my home and felt the ground start to shake?’” Womack said in an earlier interview.
Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.