When you think of school earthquake drills, you probably think California, not Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, and other places in the central United States.
But those states, and others that lie along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, could feel the impact of a major earthquake sometime in the next 50 years, scientists project. So next week, schools and colleges in 11 states are going to hold what the two agencies say is the first-ever multi-state earthquake drill. And it’s got a very catchy name: the “Great Central U.S. Shakeout.”
States on board are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Indiana conducted its Shakeout drill today.
This isn’t just for schools. Community groups and businesses can also participate. So far, more than two million people have signed up.
To get the word out, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano sent a letter urging schools to join. The event is being spearheaded by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, FEMA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and others.
For more info about participating, check out this site.