Great Central U.S. Shakeout – October 18

It’s not too late for you to register your office, school or family to participate in the upcoming Great Central U.S. Shakeout earthquake drill. Millions of people around the world will practice this life-saving technique at 10:18am on October 18th.   

While most people are familiar with earthquake hazards on the West Coast, many are surprised to learn that one of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the continental United States was centered in the Midwest.  In fact, southern Illinois lies between two active seismic zones:  the New Madrid and the Wabash Valley.   A 5.2 magnitude earthquake along the Wabash Valley seismic zone occurred in April 2008 and could be felt in Chicago, Memphis and everywhere in between.

Learning how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during a Shakeout drill 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 and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.

An earthquake can strike at any time whether you are at home, at school, at work or on vacation.  While there is no way to prevent an earthquake from occurring, there are steps we can take to limit its devastating impact.  For that reason, IEMA will continue to help communities and individuals prepare through planning, training, exercise and public awareness campaigns.

Register your participation in the Great Central U.S. Shakeout on October 18th by visiting

Drop! Cover! Hold On!