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Tennesseans can participate in second annual Great Central U.S. ShakeOut earthquake drill on Feb. 7

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 | 07:44am

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency encourages schools, families and businesses to participate in drill


Registration is open for the second annual Great Central U. S. ShakeOut earthquake drill, which will take place at 10:15 a.m., CST, on Feb. 7, 2012. More than 3 million people in 11 states, including 250,000 Tennesseans, took part in the first Central U.S. ShakeOut drill on April 28, 2011.

 To sign up for the ShakeOut, go to The site provides links to other earthquake preparedness information. In addition to schools, there are also participant categories for colleges and universities, businesses, non-profit organizations, medical facilities, individuals and families and more.

 “Small earthquakes and tremors occur frequently in Tennessee, said Director Jim Bassham of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).  “We hope Tennesseans will use the upcoming drill as an opportunity to practice protective actions and get prepared in case we have a major earthquake in our state.”

The New Madrid Seismic Zone, which is made up of several thrust faults that stretch from Marked Tree, Ark. to Cairo, Ill., has produced some of the largest earthquakes ever in the continental U.S. Experts say knowing how to respond when an earthquake occurs is an important step to practice before the next major event occurs.

During the ShakeOut, residents should practice the Drop, Cover and Hold On technique for 60 seconds: 

  • DROP to the ground
  • Take COVER by getting under a sturdy desk or table, and
  •  HOLD ON to it until the shaking stops

The Drop, Cover and Hold On technique is considered the best way to protect yourself in an earthquake.

The Feb. 7 ShakeOut drill will be held on the 200th anniversary of the largest of the great New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.

 Feb. 5 to Feb. 11, 2012 is also Tennessee’s annual Earthquake Awareness Week.

The states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri are also participating in the Feb. 7 ShakeOut.

For more information about the New Madrid Seismic Zone and Tennessee's Earthquake Preparedness visit TEMA's website at


Tennessee Emergency Management Agency | Press Releases