Missouri's statewide 'ShakeOut' earthquake drill set

Registration is open in Missouri for this year's Great Central U.S. "ShakeOut" earthquake drill set for Oct. 21.

More than 320,000 people are already registered for this year's drill, which is designed to remind people how to protect themselves during an earthquake, according to a release from the State Emergency Management Agency.

Missouri is one of 14 participating central U.S. states that could be impacted by a New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake.

"The devastating Haiti earthquake that left more than 50,000 homeless last month is a reminder of the destructive force of catastrophic earthquakes and that quakes strike without warning," SEMA Director Jim Remillard said. "Preparedness prior to an earthquake of any size is critical to staying safe. Participating in the ShakeOut drill and practicing now prepares children and adults alike for what to do when shaking starts."

At 10:21 a.m. Oct. 21, participants will practice reacting to an earthquake using the "Drop, Cover, Hold On" technique, which recommends you drop to your hands and knees, cover your head and neck with your hands and arms, preferably under a table or desk, and hold on until the shaking stops.

Studies show, in developed countries with modern structures, falling debris is the most common source of injuries in an earthquake, making the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" technique the best way to protect yourself and others from falling debris.

To sign up for the ShakeOut, visit www.shakeout.org/centralus. Schools, businesses, community organizations or any other group can register, in addition to families and individuals.

Once registered, participants receive regular updates on the drill, as well as information on earthquake preparedness and safety.

To learn more about earthquakes in Missouri and how to prepare, visit www.sema.dps.mo.gov/earthquake_ preparedness.