SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The threat of an earthquake is real and continues to increase throughout the Midwest, especially along the New Madrid fault in Missouri and Arkansas. The risk has created a national preparedness act called the "2019 Great Central U.S 'ShakeOut ' Drill."
Three of the largest and most powerful earthquakes in United States history happened more than 200 years ago in Missouri. Today, the new Madrid Seismic Zone is also the most active earthquake zone in the country, averaging 200 small quakes every year.
While mother nature is unpredictable, experts said if another major earthquake in the area occurred, it would be felt throughout the Midwest and would damage most of southern and eastern Missouri. That's why Amy Russell, with Greene County Emergency Management, said it's important to be ready.
"We would so much rather people be over-prepared than not know what to do if it were to happen," explained Russell. "It may seem like the sky is falling, but it is better to plan for the worst and be ready."
Missouri and Arkansas are among the states that could be impacted by a New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake. Studies show falling debris creates the most injuries during an earthquake in developed countries such as the United States.
Experts said the best way to protect yourself and others from falling debris is to follow the Drop, Cover, and Hold on technique.
DROP: To your hands and knees.
COVER: If able, cover your head and neck with your hands and arms underneath a table or desk.
HOLD ON: Until the shaking stops.
The shakeout is only a drill and is set to take place on Thursday, October 17, at 10:17 a.m. However, it is something that can be practiced anywhere at any time.
If you would like to participate, visit: https://www.shakeout.org/centralus/index.html