The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut will be held in October, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages Hoosiers to participate in this drill promoting earthquake safety preparation and awareness.

The ShakeOut, 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 18, allows citizens to practice proper safety measures in the event of an earthquake, and participating is simple and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how it works: at 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 18, participants should drop to the ground, take cover under a sturdy table or desk and hold on as if a major earthquake were happening.

Hoosiers face a serious threat of earthquakes along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, located 180 miles southwest of Evansville, and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, which encompasses parts of southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana.

“Earthquake preparedness is extremely important here in Indiana, because a large portion of our citizens are unaware of how close we are to the two seismic zones,” said Allison Curry, natural hazards planning manager for IDHS. “It’s crucial for us to continue educating the public, as well as our emergency personnel, so they are prepared when this day comes. It’s not a question of ‘if’ it will happen again, it’s ‘when’.”

Leading up to the ShakeOut, Hoosiers can check houses, workplaces or schools for potential earthquake hazards and create a preparedness kit that can be used for a variety of situations, not just earthquakes. Preparedness kits include water and food for all household members, an all-hazard weather radio, first-aid supplies, flashlights and batteries, medication, items for pets and extra clothing. For information on preparedness kits and emergency preparedness, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

To learn more about how individuals, families or organizations can participate in the 2018 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut and to register, visit shakeout.org/centralus. Registration is free and open to everyone.

The ShakeOut is the largest earthquake drill in the central United States, and it’s led by local emergency management agencies, IDHS, the Indiana Geological Survey, the Indiana Department of Education, the Central United States Earthquake Consortium, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey.

More than 1.8 million people in the central U.S. region have registered so far, and Indiana currently has more than 328,000 registrants. Other states participating include Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Last year, more than 570,000 Hoosiers registered for the drill.

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