PEARL –The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is encouraging everyone in the state to take part in the 2017 “Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” Earthquake Drill on Thursday, October 19 at 10:19 a.m.


During the self-led drill, participants practice how to “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”.  The essential steps to take are to:

  • DROP to the ground.
  • Take COVER under a sturdy table or desk if possible, protecting your head and neck.
  • HOLD ON until the shaking stops.


Citizens in Mississippi are not immune to earthquakes. The state is on the outer edge of the New Madrid Seismic Zone which saw a series of major earthquakes in the early 1800’s which caused catastrophic damage. There are several fault lines that cross the state.


“It is not a question of IF but WHEN another major earthquake occurs along the New Madrid fault,” said MEMA Director Lee Smithson. “All Mississippians should know how to protect themselves from an earthquake whether you are at home, school, work or just out in the community. Preparedness is the key to surviving any disaster.”


The ShakeOut is free and open-to-the-public, and participants include individuals, schools, businesses, local and state government agencies, and many other groups.  To take part in the ShakeOut, individuals and organizations are asked to join the drill by registering to participate at www.shakeout.org/centralus.


Once registered, participants receive regular information on how to plan their drill and become better prepared for earthquakes and other disasters.


To date, three million people are registered to participate in this regional event, however drills will also take place throughout most of the nation and in several countries worldwide.  More than 40 million people around the globe are expected to participate; and in addition to safety drills, many participants take extra steps to become more prepared for earthquakes or other disasters.


The “Great Central U.S. ShakeOut” is being coordinated by local and state emergency management, as well as 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 other partners.


For detailed preparedness information please visit MEMA’s website, www.msema.org, social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, and the MEMA mobile app under Mississippi EMA.