IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes
February 7 is 206th anniversary of major quake in New Madrid Seismic Zone
SPRINGFIELD – Some of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in North America rocked the mostly rural central U.S. between December 1811 and February 1812, including parts of southern Illinois. The strongest earthquakes in this series were estimated to be around magnitude 8.0, and were felt as far away as the East Coast.
Today, this multi-state region is heavily populated and highly developed. A similar earthquake now would cause widespread devastation to buildings, utilities, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, as well as result in many injuries and deaths. While damage would be less severe in other parts of Illinois, utility outages, road closures and disruptions to deliveries of essential supplies would significantly impact the lives of most Illinoisans.
Recognizing the earthquake risk in Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote earthquake preparedness throughout February.
“In addition to the New Madrid Seismic Zone, where the 1811-12 quakes occurred, southern Illinois is also adjacent to the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone,” said IEMA Interim Director Jennifer Ricker. “We can’t predict when the next devastating earthquake in this region will happen, but we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”
Ricker said people need to remember to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” when they feel the ground shaking: “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.
There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, such as strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs, anchoring overhead fans and light fixtures, and securing cabinet doors with latches. IEMA offers several short videos on do-it-yourself earthquake home mitigation projects at https://www.illinois.gov/iema/Mitigation/Pages/EarthquakeMitigationVideos.aspx.
It’s Time to Prepare for Winter Weather
Are you Prepared?
McHenry County Emergency Management Agency would like to remind you that now is the perfect time to review your Family’s Emergency Plan and check the supplies in your Emergency Kit or to take some time and create these life-saving tools. We all know first-hand the impact severe weather can have, whether it is flooding, winter weather or heat advisory. No matter what the disaster is, there are simple preparedness steps that anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones in a time of need. To assist the community with this effort the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (IL-IN-WI RCPT) has launched Gear Up, Get Ready campaign to encourage households to take key steps in family preparedness. This mission encompasses 19 counties and communities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
By taking a few simple steps ahead of time, you and your family can be ready when disaster strikes:
- Make a Family Emergency Plan decide how you will reconnect with each other, list important information and phone numbers and discuss the plan with all members and post it in your home where visitors can view it.
- Gather supplies for an Emergency Kit and put them in one place to meet your family’s needs for three days. You may already have three days of food already within your home. Top five items include, water, non-perishable food, battery powered radio, flashlight & extra batteries and a first aid kit. Be sure to meet the specific needs of your family and pets.
211 in McHenry County
The 211 service streamlines access to health and human services for McHenry County residents. When an individual needs information or referral services for which they have little or no prior knowledge or experience, dialing 211 is a simple option. Once the individual dials 211, they will be connected to a call center where they will speak to a professional information and referral specialist who will refer or connect the caller to the appropriate agency.