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Whether you are at home, in a classroom or other type of building, it is important to know how to protect yourself during an earthquake.
Some of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in North America rocked the mostly rural central U.S. between December 1811 and February 1812, including parts of southern Illinois located in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. The strongest earthquakes in this series were estimated to be around magnitude 8.0 and were felt as far away as the East Coast. A similar earthquake now would cause widespread devastation to buildings, utilities, roads, bridges and other infrastructure, as well as result in many injuries and deaths.
If you are indoors:
Drop -- Drop down to the floor.
Cover -- Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If that is not possible, seek cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. Avoid danger spots near windows, hanging objects, mirrors or tall furniture.
Hold -- If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. HOLD the position until the ground stops shaking and it is safe to move.
If you are outside when the shaking starts, get into an open area away from trees, buildings, walls and power lines. If driving, stop safely as soon as possible. Do not stop under overpasses or bridges. Turn off the engine and turn on the radio. Stay inside your vehicle below window level until the shaking stops. Do not get out of your vehicle if downed power lines have fallen across it.
For more information, contact the Carbondale Office of Emergency Management at (618) 457-3245 or visit the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) website.