Southeast plans to join earthquake drill

Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau is planning to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill at 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 19.

The drills offers the university a way to prepare faculty, staff and students to survive and recover from earthquakes.

The drill is scheduled to be held worldwide the next day at 10:20 a.m. on Oct. 20.

The annual earthquake drill is an opportunity to practice the three steps, Drop, Cover and Hold On, to stay safe during an earthquake.

All students, faculty and staff at the main campus in Cape Girardeau and the regional campuses in Sikeston, Kennett and Malden are asked to participate.

During the drill, which is supported by Southeast’s student government and the Department of Public Safety, the university will activate an urgent desktop alert, emergency text message and outdoor public address systems.

“Drop, Cover, and Hold On as if there were a major earthquake occurring at that very moment, and stay in this position for at least 60 seconds,” said Beth Glaus, interim director of the university’s Department of Public Safety.

“With the university and its regional campuses located near the New Madrid Fault Line, it’s important the campus community know how to prepare, survive and recover from a possible earthquake.”

The New Madrid Fault Line is a major seismic zone which extends 150 miles across four states, stretching from New Madrid, Missouri, across Illinois, Arkansas and Tennessee.

The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquake, which was estimated to be a 7.0 magnitude or greater, and has the potential to produce a large earthquake in the future.

Federal, state, and local emergency management experts and other official preparedness organizations all agree that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” is the appropriate action to reduce injury and death during earthquakes.

Community Emergency Response Teams, CERT, will have trailers with materials available for distribution to students, faculty and staff until 1 p.m. in the median along Normal Avenue between Kent Library and Academic Hall on the main campus and in the parking lots of the regional campuses.

The trailers will feature an exercise display, and information about CERT and earthquake preparedness tips will be available. Free lemonade shake-ups and fault-line brownies, compliments of Chartwells, will be offered.

Additionally, students from Southeast’s Environmental Science Association will be stationed at various locations at the main and regional campuses conducting Stop Sign Drills. Students will be handing out information and answering questions about earthquake preparedness.

“The ShakeOut Drill takes a couple of minutes, but could potentially prevent injuries or even save your life,” said Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, director Ron Walker.

“Earthquakes occur without warning, so folks need to know what to do in advance.”

Over 500,000 people in Missouri and 2.4 million people in the world are registered to participate.

The drill is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the United States Geological Survey and NSF International.

For more information about earthquake preparedness or to register for the Central U.S. Great ShakeOut, visit

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