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Great ShakeOut Promotes Earthquake Preparedness


Illinois is one of the states considered most at risk for a major earthquake.  This week, officials are trying to get people thinking safety.  

"This is the one hazard we have that can happen without any warning whatsoever and people have to be able to just do something immediately.  These are the immediate actions you can take to protect yourself," said Patti Thompson with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.  

Officials promote Drop, Cover and Hold On for protection.  Most injuries occur from falling items or debris.  
Over 200 years ago, the New Madrid Fault woke up.  It was the largest quake to strike the U.S.  It's seismic zone takes in several states, including parts of southeast Missouri and southern Illinois, but the shaking was felt thousands of miles away.  

'While this part of the country wasn't very developed at the time. It was sparsely populated. The impact of a similar earthquake today could be catastrophic," Thompson said. 
Ever since the early 1800's, residents have been waiting for the next big one.  Thompson says it's important to know what to do in the event it happens. 

Illinois also is part of the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, which has produced strong quakes in recent years. 

The Great American Shakeout is Thursday morning at 10:20. Schools, businesses and families are encouraged to participate and you can register and get more details at   www.shakeout.org/centralus

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