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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Summer 2016: Shake 'n bake in Missouri...

by Doug Mager

The writer of this article, like many woke last Saturday morning to something never experienced before...a trembling bed and grandfather clock chimes making an eerie sound. Instinctively, I assumed it was an earthquake.

While that guess was correct, I was mistaken about the epicenter, thinking it was the New Madrid Fault in southeast Missouri- which was cause of four catastrophic quakes in the early 1800's. Turns out, the root of Saturday morning's episode was centered north of Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

Since many of us in west central Missouri have never experienced a quake, it was and will continue to be a hot topic of discussion for some time to come. After all, it now makes us wonder if another, bigger one is coming soon.

The short answer, is probably. Seismologists have been predicting for some time that the New Madrid Fault is a 'time bomb' waiting to happen. And judging by the map above, yes, we in western Missouri will certainly feel it. The extent of damage? No one really knows.

What can we do to prepare? First, you might want to discuss earthquake insurance with your agent. Most homeowner polices do not include this type of coverage. Otherwise, the Metropolitan Emergency Managers Committee also offers this advice:

Safety rules and precautions
  • Before an earthquake happens, identify places in each room in your house to take shelter, such as under a sturdy table or next to an inside wall.
  • Don’t place beds by windows, and don’t hang heavy items over beds.
  • Secure things that might fall, such as heavy TVs.
  • Put strong latches on cupboards.
  • During an earthquake, stay indoors. When you do leave a building, move away from it quickly.
  • Get away from windows to avoid breaking glass.
  • Don’t use elevators.
  • Wait until the shaking stops completely before venturing out.
  • Outdoors, find a spot away from buildings, trees and power lines. Drop to the ground.
  • If you are in a car, stop in a clear location as quickly as you can. Stay in the car with your seat belt fastened.
  • Avoid the use of candles or open flame after an earthquake in case of gas leaks.
More info can be found here: