PEARL – Gov. Phil Bryant and MEMA Director Robert Latham are reminding Mississippians to Drop, Cover and Hold On during the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.

More than 218,000 Mississippians have signed up to participate in the nationwide earthquake exercise at 10:17 a.m. on Oct. 17, 2013. More than 18.2 million have signed up around the country.

“Disaster preparedness is important so you and your family can be better equipped when a disaster strikes. Exercises like this can save lives and teach us valuable lessons in the event an earthquake hits Mississippi.” said Gov. Bryant

Mississippi is located on the New Madrid Fault system, which is responsible for the 1811 and 1812 earthquakes. Scientists estimate that there is a 25 to 40 percent chance of a damaging earthquake in the central U.S. within the next 50 years.

“Earthquakes are one of many hazards that Mississippians face,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “This exercise is intended to ensure that all residents of Mississippi know what to do if an earthquake occurs.”

The recommended steps to protect yourself during an earthquake are Drop, Cover and Hold On:

  • DROP to the ground.
  • Take COVER under a sturdy desk or table, or cover your head/neck with your arms.
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops.

Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee are participating in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, but the Great Shakeout is a nationwide exercise. The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is coordinated by the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium and its Member and Associate States, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey and dozens of partners.

To participate in the ShakeOut, visit MEMA’s website, and click on the ShakeOut button on the front page, or visit the ShakeOut website directly at

The public is encouraged to follow MEMA on Twitter and Facebook for updates. For up-to-date information in real time, download the free MEMA app on your iPhone or Android device. Just search for MEMA in the app store.