Boone Co. Office of Emergency Management in Arkansas conducts earthquake exercise

HARRISON, Ark. - ​Boone County leaders, first responders, as well as the Arkansas Department of Emergency management, are making sure they know what to do if an earthquake hit their part of the Natural State.

Bob Yarbrough, the director of Boone County Office of Emergency Management, said, "The first part of this exercise is communications: We want to get communications up within two hours of an incident."

Since the office may not have power after an earthquake, they will radio places like the police department, fire department and hospital to see what is needed.

Tim Gehring, the Northwest Area Coordinator for the ADEM, said, "If all communications are down, we always rely on the hams because they're a great asset."

The Boone County OEM would either radio or email ADEM for help.

That help could mean asking for things like generators, a fire truck, or even body bags. Then the state department of emergency management would reach out to outside agencies and communicate back with Boone County to let them know what they can send.

Yarbrough said, "It was pretty much successful. We had a few radios that didn't work, but that's training."

Last year small earthquakes were detected near Harrison.

County Judge Robert Hathaway said, "June 2017 there was a small earthquake in Bergman. I believe there was two of them matter of fact. I remember i was at home and I heard the boom."

Geologists said all of them were below a 4.0 magnitude.

But even though those were smaller tremors, officials would rather be safe than sorry.

Gehring said, "We have a fault in northeast Arkansas. And the old saying: It's going to happen, and we don't know when but it's going to happen here eventually."

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