Tarkio Elementary students participated in the Great Central U.S. “ShakeOut” earthquake drill held across the state of Missouri October 18, 2018.

People across Missouri participated in the annual Great Central U.S. “ShakeOut” on October 18. A total of more than 2.6 million people in the 14 central U.S. states that could be impacted by a New Madrid Seismic Zone earthquake registered to participate in the event.

At exactly 10:18 a.m. on Thursday, October 18, participants practiced the “Drop, Cover, Hold On” technique to protect themselves:

• DROP to your hands and knees

• COVER your head and neck with your hands and arms; get under a table or desk if you can, and

• HOLD ON until the shaking stops

Experts say Drop, Cover, Hold On is the best protection from falling debris, which is the most likely cause of injury during an earthquake in developed nations with modern building standards.

From 1811-12, the New Madrid Seismic Zone, centered in southeast Missouri, produced some of the largest earthquakes ever in the continental U.S. A major earthquake in this area could result in damage in much of southern and eastern Missouri, including the St. Louis area. Geologists say there’s a 7 to 10 percent chance of another major earthquake occurring in a 50-year time period.

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