Earthquake Awareness Month Is In Full Swing

Governor Greitens has declared February as the official Earthquake Awareness Month in Missouri.

Missouri is home to the largest and most active fault this side of the Rocky Mountains.  

Jeff Briggs with the State Emergency Management Agency says even though most quakes in the state aren't felt, there are still a lot of them.

Briggs says there are an average of more than 200 earthquakes a year that happen in this seismic zone. There were over 300 last year.

Briggs says if there is a major quake on the New Madrid fault, we’ll definitely feel it in the Ozarks.

“If a big one hits it’s gonna be felt. There will be damage across much of Missouri and much of the Midwest,” says Briggs.

But it has been almost 200 years since a major earthquake was centered in the boot-heel of Missouri.

“Since people haven’t largely been affected by one lately, they do tend to forget about it. And that’s what makes earthquake preparedness and earthquake awareness is so important in Missouri.”

Although Missouri hasn’t had a large earthquake in many years, Briggs says history reveals that a major quake could likely happen in the boot-heel.

“There were a series of tremendously large ones, some of the largest ones in U.S. history happen a couple hundred years ago and the scientists say they expect for large earthquake to happen from time to time in this area, and it will likely happen again.”

Briggs suggests having a family plan in case of an earthquake. 

"Look around your office, look around your school or business and figure out what things might fall and hurt you."

Briggs says many injuries happen from falling debris.  His best advice for surviving an earthquake is drop to your hands and knees, cover your head and neck and hold on to something until the shaking stops.

He also advises to investigate earthquake coverage for your home, since most homeowner insurance policies do not include earthquake coverage.

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