Jefferson City, MO (KTRS) February is designated as Missouri Earthquake Awareness Month.
This has the State Emergency Management Agency encouraging Missourians to take steps for earthquake preparedness. Although Missouri hasn’t encountered a devastating earthquake in the last hundred years or so, it sits on the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which is the most active seismic area in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Officials with the State Emergency Management Agency say the best way to stay safe in the event of a major earthquake is to have a plan. The agency recommends the following:
Identify safe spots and danger zones in each room of your residence.
Buy a large garbage can to store bottled drinking water, canned and dried non-perishable food that does not need to be cooked (tuna and crackers, for example), a can opener, flashlights, first aid supplies, battery powered radio, seasonal clothing and blankets. It may also become your “go kit” if you need to leave your home.
Know how to shut off all utilities.
Be sure your house is firmly anchored to its foundation.
Anchor overhead lighting fixtures.
Store bottled foods, glass, china and other breakable items on low shelves or in cabinets that can fasten shut. Place large or heavy objects on lower shelves.
Brace bookshelves and heavy furniture to walls to keep them from toppling.
Repair defective electrical wiring.
Install flexible lines to water heaters, gas stoves and other appliances.
Securely fasten water heaters and gas appliances to wall studs.
Buy earthquake insurance.
During an actual earthquake, the agency recommends three simple steps if indoors: “Drop, Cover and Hold On” until the shaking stops. This means DROP down to the floor, take COVER and protect your head and neck with your arms, and HOLD ON to the sturdy piece of furniture you are under until the shaking stops.
If outdoors during an earthquake, its recommended to move away from buildings, utility wires, and streetlights. If you’re driving, its advised to stop as quickly as safety permits and remain inside of the vehicle if possible.
More information about earthquake preparedness is available online at http://sema.dps.mo.gov/.