An earthquake is defined as a sudden, rapid shaking of the Earth caused by the release of energy stored in rocks. An earthquake is a natural occurrence, like rain, and earthquakes can affect almost every part of the Earth, like rain. While predictions about earthquakes in the Central United States area have been going around for years, there is a good probability for a major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault in the future. A major earthquake on that fault would affect the DeSoto County area. Should an earthquake occur in the area that you are in, do the following:
- DON'T PANIC! When a rolling, shaking, or quivering motion is felt in the earth or in buildings, get under a desk, tables, or in the door frames and brace yourself against movement. If outside when an earthquake occurs try to get to a large open space as far away from trees, power lines, or buildings as you can.
- Be prepared for aftershocks that can occur within minutes to hours after an earthquake. These are natural and will be, at times, just about as strong as the main earthquake.
- Be prepared to cut off gas, water, and electricity to your home or business if necessary. Know beforehand what to do and when to cut these off.
- Have a family disaster kit on hand with enough supplies to last at lest 72 hours after the earthquake. Depending upon the type damage and the type response needed, not all areas will be able to have immediate response.
- Have a battery-powered radio on hand to be able to get news of what is going on in your area.
- Have a point of contact in another city or state that you and family members can contact and leave messages if you are not together at the time of the earthquake. Many times local phone lines will not work, whereas long distance lines will.
- If you have to leave your home, leave a note on a door so that anyone coming to your home to check on you will be able to locate you. In the note state where you are going, when you left, medical conditions of family members, and whether all family members are accounted for.