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Earthquake Planning - New Madrid Region

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posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 10:27 PM
Based on information that has been discussed at length in the Quake Watch topic and most importantly a image posted by Hellmutt here....

I thought it very important to talk about how to prepare for and how to act after a major quake in the New Madrid region. Some of you on the west coast may not feel this is a big deal. After all if you live in California you are not a stranger to a 6.0. However those of us in the New Madrid region are strangers (Unless you are well over 100 years old). The worst part is most buildings are not built to earthquake code.

I look at my neighborhod as an example. I have no idea where to go or what to do if a large quake hits. Making matters worse I live in a 90 year old wood frame home with trees gallore around me, aerial utilities, and worse.... GAS. What do you do when a big quake hits? There will surely be gas explosions all around town as most of the surrounding areas here are old and in the case of my neighborhood... really old. Where do you run to for safety? You can't stay in the house as it will surely crumble. Where do you go outside? You are face with falling trees and powerlines.

The potential for a major catastrophe is great and there is nothing being done here where I live to educate people on preparing for an earthquake. I thought users from quake zones could share some experiences and tips to surviving a quake in a zone that is questionable when it comes to safety.

Please help us out.

posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 12:39 AM
California to the rescue!

For preparation, put together a survival kit, 3-7 days food and water, emergency equipment, first aid and lots of stored water. Keep a pair of heavy boots and some workclothes handy, you'll be glad you did. Buy a gas line shut-off tool and chain it to the cut-off point. Consider bolting the house to the foundation, check the joins in the roof and reinforce them with steel connectors, do the same in the basements. Bolt bookcases and other large/tall pieces of furniture to the wall studs. Use soft wax to anchor objects to display surfaces, use child locks on your kitchen cupboards. Have an evacuation plan, and a meeting plan if your family members are separated. Remember... cell phones may not work immediately, land lines may be down, electricity and water service could take days to return.

If an earthquake hits and you are inside, move to an open doorway, preferably an intersection of doors and halls. There would be better structural reinforcement there. Stay awat from glass windows! When the shaking subsides, exit the building and turn off the gas at the main connect. Avoid contact with downed power lines, they could become 'live' at anytime.

posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 01:17 AM
Hi Indy-
Here's a couple links to get you started:

USGS Quake Preparedness

NBC4 LA - Quake Safe

Here's some additional tips in addition to what Chuck already said:

-Remember to have extra prescription medication in your quake kit in case you can't get into your home.
-If you wear glasses, keep an extra pair in your quake kit.
-Include food and water for your pets in your quake kit.
-Have shoes and a heavy-duty flashlight next to your bed. If a quake hits in the middle of the night and you loose power, you don't want to cut your feet on broken items (speaking from experience here).
-Be prepared for aftershocks (mentally and safety-wise).

posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 03:09 AM
Don't Panic!

If you are indoors, move to a safe(er) location as detailed previously, an interior doorway, for example. DO NOT rush outside the moment the shaking stops!!! Wait at least 30 seconds. Remember, there may be dangerous debris falling as a result of the quake.

If you are outside get to an open area as soon as it is safe; parks are a good bet. Falling objects are your biggest threat.

In addition to the previous advice given:

Consider having a survival kit in both your home AND your car.

Definately stay away from ANY kind of glass, including mirrors on doors, walls, and medicine cabinets. Consider applying shatter-proof film to windows.

If you are taking medication, ask your doctor to authorize an "emergency supply" to keep with your survival kit(s); Pharmacies may not be available after a major disaster and hospitals will likely be swamped.

Include a pair of heavy work gloves with the extra clothes you've packed. You will likely encounter dangerous debris after the quake, even if you are not on a a rescue team.

posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 12:29 PM
The problem is that so many of the quake safety tips are geared to areas that are designed more quake safe. Once you get away from the loop that surrounds Indianapolis you start getting in to better quality homes. But inside the loop there are tens of thousands of very old homes. I live in a neighborhood built around 1908. I live in an old wood frame house that is sitting on a very old block foundation with a basement. Doors in this place really don't close right because of the way the house has settled over the years. It got just a little bit worse a few years ago when a small quake hit down south. It wasn't major but we feel that door closings here have gotten a little more difficult since. Here are things I think people in this area have to worry about...

1) Old wood houses collapsing in a large quake
2) Old gas pipes easily cracking causing big leaks
3) Old wires shorting out and reacting with #2

You run a great risk of your house collapsing around you when you live in a 90 year old place like this. So is staying inside the best bet? If you stay inside you run the risk of getting trapped inside. That brings you to #2 and gas leaks. Now you become trapped inside with a gas leak and its only a matter of time before a shorted wire sets the gas off.

Wouldn't you be better off in this case to simply get out of the house and get out of town? There will be fires all over the place in short time. There is just too much gas around in old piples and too many houses with ancient wiring. It spells trouble in a big way.

This isn't Southern California where everything is made to withstand quakes. This is an area where nothing is made to withstand them. I certainly don't want people to run out the door screaming when a quake comes but wouldn't the loss of life be greater if people just wait around a mine field like that?

posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 12:42 PM
The scary things I have looked into here at the local level in Memphis is that most if not all buildings have not been built to anything even close to code for an earthquake zone.

It seems that people in the mid-southern USA are oblivious to the threat of a major quake.

If it happens here.. and it is anything close to what was recorded on the New Madrid fault in 1811-1812 I fear many thousands will be killed, trapped or hurt in these structures.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say "it will never happen here"

Everything inside of me hopes they are right.


posted on Jul, 12 2005 @ 02:02 PM
Has there been any activity along the New Madrid fault in the past couple of weeks? Do you even bother to plan for something like this? I've thought about building a mini shelter in the basement under the stairs. Something solid. But I don't think that will help in a quake. It would help in a tornado but thats it. Maybe I could put up some shelves and stock some water and canned food. It is just that all these old gas lines make staying around here not much of an option after a quake. Or do gas companies have something in place to kill all gas service automatically in the event of a big quake?

posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 05:00 PM

Originally posted by Indy
Has there been any activity along the New Madrid fault in the past couple of weeks?

Answer: YES
There is a lot of activity there at the moment. My advise is to make a plan and prepare, so you know what to do when it happens. We can´t stop it from happening but we can prepare for it. Any kind of plan is better than no plan. Or you might become chicken without heads running around in circles, not knowing what to do...

Map of Recent Earthquake Activity

We know this area has potential to produce a huge quake. You can find some eyewitness accounts in this thread I made about the New Madrid 1811/1812 quakes. Tecumseh And The New Madrid Earthquake

posted on Aug, 20 2005 @ 07:55 PM
10 quakes in the past week. I wonder what normal is for a month or a year. Any idea where we could find that?

posted on Sep, 8 2005 @ 10:00 AM
There was also a small earthquake a 2.5 that was centered in North Eastern Kentucky. If I heard right, this is a newly discovered fault line.

Be Cool

posted on Sep, 17 2005 @ 02:55 PM
Calvert City, Kentucky. If a big quake strikes, a dozen or so chemical plants there with tens of millions of pounds of deadly chemicals can turn this city into a very nasty place.

New Madrid Fault getting attention in wake of Hurricane Katrina

Sep. 17, 2005

Putting a dozen or so chemical plants in Calvert City, Ky., seemed like a good idea 50 years ago.

But there is a problem. The town, with its tens of millions of pounds of deadly chemicals, sits in an earthquake zone. Calvert City was built near the New Madrid Fault.

And while its plants are protected against moderate quakes, they are not required to gird themselves against the worst-case disaster: a series of massive earthquakes geologists say could erupt at any time.

Geologists have two fears. One is a massive series of earthquakes on the scale of the 1811 and 1812 New Madrid upheavals.

More likely would be a series of moderate quakes rating 6.0, powerful enough to threaten the chemical infrastructure while damaging evacuation routes and leveling parts of cities

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 06:27 PM

A little reminder: New Madrid Fault awakens for quake preparedness meeting

Februar 2, 2007

As officials gathered in Henderson Wednesday evening to discuss the risks to this area, the fault line that runs through parts of western Kentucky came to life. It shook two towns in far western Kentucky, but no injuries or damages were reported.

It was a timely reminder for everyone, and officials said it should serve as a reminder of what is needed in advance of "the Big One" that will strike this area one day

I wonder if the O'Hare UFO sightings could have been a sign of the New Madrid fault coming to life soon? There were also these UFO reports right before the big Indonesian Mag 9.3 Boxing Day tsunami quake. And I believe there were some strange visual phenomenas seen in the skies before the Great New Madrid quakes of 1811/1812 as well. Maybe not UFO's, but some kind of natural phenomena preceeding big quakes? But don't be scared, be prepared

posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 10:38 PM
A couple of things to remember (from a veteran quake survivor...)

While it's happening...




Why not? Aren't you safer outside than in?

No, not really. You might not make it outside safely while the shaking is happening, and you really, really need to protect yourself from things flying around. Having been thrown out of bed (twice) during EQs, it's incredibly difficult to keep your feet during one, let alone negotiating between where you are and where the door to the outside is. As things can fall outside, they can fall inside, too...but you're far safer inside than out.

When you feel the shaking start, or hear the noise (similar to the train sound w/ tornados....), move to an interior door jamb. DO NOT go into a door way with a door. I found that out the hard way...I had bruises that lasted for weeks because the door slammed on me many times. Pick the location NOW before anything happens. Make sure it's clear of bookshelves, moveable cabinets, and whatnot, and stand with your backside against the side of the door. Wrap your arms over your face and head, and, if the shaking is severe, crouch/sit in that doorway.

Once the shaking stops, sit in that doorway for about 3 minutes. It's hard, but people forget about aftershocks. In the '94 quake, we had an aftershock about 30 seconds after the main shock, and it was nearly the same mag as the main shock. AFTERSHOCKS CAN KILL YOU. Stay put for a bit.

Once you're pretty sure that the shaking has stopped, CAREFULLY move to your emergency kit. Get shoes on your feet ASAP, get the flashlight on if it happens when it's dark, and DON'T GO RUNNING ANYWHERE. Furniture can move great distances...things like the fridge will move (I found mine all the way across the kitchen; it had broken the sink). Take your time, count heads, make sure all are accounted for, and then, as a group, move towards an open area STILL INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. Take your time, and make sure you can easily access a door to the outside. If you can't, find a window you can safely crawl out of; if need be, finish breaking the glass and clear out the debris (work gloves are a vital part of your emergency kit).

If you're at the office:

Get under a sturdy desk. Stay away from windows, glass interior doors, and again, wrap your arms over your face and head.

If you're driving:


Drive your car carefully and safely (SLOWLY!!!!). Do not suddenly brake or turn. It will feel as if you've lost several of your tires. Drive carefully and slowly. Go to an open area. DO NOT GET OUT of your are safer there than outside.

If you are outside:

Do NOT run screaming into the street. There will be stupid people driving their cars screaming, and they won't see you. Don't lay in the middle of the road. If there are building collapsing around you, crawl under a car parked outside. It will give you protection. Move away from windows, glass, light/telephone poles, et cetera.

More in the next post...


posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 10:50 PM

As mentioned, you should buy a gas shut off tool (wrench), learn how to use it, learn where to use it, and then chain it to the gas valve so it's there and you don't have to hunt for it.

Know where your fuse box is, and turn off every fuse. Eliminate the potential for sparks from broken lamps, et cetera.

Expect lots of broken things. Shoes, socks, long shirtsleeves, long pants. Use your common sense. Don't light a cigarette until you're sure you've cleared the area of gas. Don't turn on the oven to see if it works, or to make a pot of coffee.

Walk your property. Identify any potential hazards that might be problematic during aftershocks. Check for hanging debris, tree limbs, downed power lines (PLEASE DON'T TOUCH THEM!!!). Move only that which needs to be moved to clear pathways into/out of the house/driveway.

DON'T immediately call everyone you know and tell them about it. It's been my experience that phone lines get overloaded very call your family, but stay off the lines as much as possible.

1. Have a supply of canned, emergency food available (generally 5 days' worth for the household). No cooking needed types of food - i.e Dinty Moore Stew, soups, et cetera. Have a manual can opener with your emergency food.

2. Have enough water for your family. There's a particular recommendation which I can't recall right now...but try to store that with your emergency food.

3. Have a contact out of state to call and report in. Have your whole family using the same out of area/state person to be the intermediary for communications. I've discovered that it's far easier to get an out of state line during the aftermath of an EQ than there was to call two cities away. The contact point will come in handy in that situation.

4. Be prepared to be on your own for 5-7 days. That means meds, food, activities for kids, et cetera.

If I can think of anything else, I'll post again. But for now, those are the things that huge quakes have taught me. Most importantly, don't panic. Be prepared, and know what to do. It's easier than running around screaming (which I have done in the past...doens't help much and tends to frighten people around you...). Plan a plan, and work the plan...and you'll be all right.


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