Governor Eric R. Greitens has proclaimed February as Earthquake Awareness Month in Missouri in recognition of the earthquake hazard posed by the New Madrid Seismic Zone, the most active seismic area east of the Rocky Mountains.

Each February, Missourians are reminded to plan and prepare for how a major earthquake might impact them and their families.

“Earthquake Awareness Month reminds us that it’s not just the West Coast that could be affected by a major earthquake,” Ron Walker, director of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said. “All of us who live in Missouri should think about what we would do to respond.”

When shaking starts, the best way to stay safe is to drop, cover and hold on to protect yourself from falling debris, the most common source of injuries during earthquakes in developed nations with modern building standards.

Drop to your hands and knees, under a table or a desk if you can, cover your head and neck with your hands and arms and hold on until the shaking stops.

In putting together an emergency kit, select items that would help sustain your family for at least three days without power and water service due to an emergency. The kit should include a flashlight and battery-powered radio and extra batteries, bottled water, canned and dried food like tuna fish, peanut butter, crackers and energy bars, along with a manual can opener, anti-bacterial wipes and a first-aid kit.

Many more resources for families, schools and businesses are available on SEMA’s earthquake preparedness web page. Included are fact sheets, interactive maps and informational videos that show what to do in the event of an earthquake. Visit to learn more.

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