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Earthquakes Don't Plan Ahead, But You Can!

Press Release - Monday, March 22, 2021

SPRINGFIELD - This morning, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported a 2.3 magnitude earthquake occurred in southern Illinois, near Thompsonville in Franklin County.  While no damage has been reported associated with the tremor, the event serves as a real-time reminder that earthquake can happen at any time and anywhere.

"While some hazards such as storms, tornadoes and floods can be forecasted in order to provide advance notice to residents in an area of danger, other hazards such as earthquakes cannot be predicted," said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. "Earthquakes can happen anywhere and at any time, including while you are at work, at home or on vacation. Today's earthquake is a great reminder that creating an environment of education, awareness and preparedness can save lives."

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that 500,000 detectable earthquakes occur in the world each year. To better prepare Illinois residents for the possibility of earthquakes, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging families, schools, businesses and community groups to participate in the world's largest earthquake drill.  The ‘Great Central U.S. ShakeOut' will take place on Thursday, October 21 at 10:21 a.m.  It's never too early to register your participation in this potentially life-saving event.  Register today at Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness. 

During an earthquake drill, participants practice the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" technique. The actual movement of the ground during an earthquake is seldom a direct cause of death or injury. Most injuries and casualties result from falling objects and debris. 

Learning how to "Drop, Cover and Hold On" can help people prevent injury during an earthquake. The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object until the shaking ends. 

To further reinforce earthquake preparedness, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has put together a series of videos with step by step instructions for Do-It-Yourself mitigation projects to better prepare your household for an earthquake. 

Learn more about preparing your home, business and family for an earthquake at

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