On 199th Anniversary of New Madrid Quake, FEMA Urges Public to be Prepared

News Wire – FEMA

December 16th marked the 199th anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes ever to strike the United States. That’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Ready Campaign is encouraging everyone to prepare for earthquakes and other disasters by making a resolution to “Resolve to be Ready” in 2011.  It only takes a few simple steps to prepare for emergencies, and you can visit www.Ready.gov to learn more.

“FEMA is not the team, we’re part of the team,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Russell.  “We are constantly working with the entire federal family, state and local governments, the private sector, and faith-based and non-profit organizations to prepare for the next disaster.  The 199th anniversary of one of the largest earthquakes to strike the United States should serve as an important reminder to all of us that disasters can strike anytime, anywhere.”

The earthquake took place in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), which is the site of several of the largest historical earthquakes to ever strike the continental United States.  On Dec. 16, 1811, the first of these quakes struck what is now the location of Memphis, Tenn., at a level nine intensity. The impacts were felt as far away as Washington and Ohio.  The final quake occurred on Feb. 7, 1812, in New Madrid, Mo.; the shaking forced sand to erupt at the surface, triggered landslides and caused large areas to be uplifted or dropped down in elevation.

Since then, the regions along the NMSZ have experienced explosive growth in both population and infrastructure.  Another series of earthquakes with the magnitude of the 1811 earthquakes could prove catastrophic to the region.

FEMA and its federal partners, non-governmental organizations, and state and local officials will collaborate on a series of outreach efforts, partnerships and events over the next year – including Earthquake Preparedness Month in February the Great Central U.S. Shakeout and the 2011 National Level Exercise (NLE 2011).  These events are designed to educate Americans on what they can do to be better prepared for earthquakes and other catastrophic events.

Individuals and their families can take the following steps to prepare for earthquakes:

·                 Get an emergency supply kit;

·                  Make a family communications plan;
·                 Stay informed of the risks in your community;
·                 Check for hazards in the home;
·                 Identify safe places indoors and outdoors; and
·                 Educate yourself and family members.

For more information on preparing for an earthquake or other emergencies, please visit www.Ready.gov.  For more information on resolving to be ready in 2011, visit www.Ready.gov/resolve2011. For more information on The Great Central U.S. Shakeout, visit http://www.shakeout.org/centralus/.

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