Earthquake Preparedness

Earthquake Preparedness... Is your school ready?

Several times over the last several years Kentucky has felt the effects of several earthquake zones throughout the state. And it’s time more Kentuckians learned about Kentucky’s earthquake prone regions, and how to prepare themselves in the event of the next major shakeup.

When will Kentucky experience another serious, damaging earthquake? There is no way to predict an earthquake, and its effects on Kentucky will depend on where the ‘quake happens, how large and how deep underground it is and the local geologic conditions of areas affected. What we can do is learn how to earthquake-proof our homes and offices, and what to do in the event of an earthquake of large magnitude.

In stronger earthquakes, the ground motion can damage or destroy buildings and infrastructure (such as roads, pipelines and underground utilities), toss building contents around (even if the building structure is not seriously damaged), trigger fires and landslides and cause a phenomenon called liquefaction in which sandy soils act almost like a liquid or jelly, undermining buildings’ foundations.

Clearly, the safety of people is the first concern in preparing for earthquakes and their after-effects. Damage to buildings, especially buildings with large, open areas such as school gymnasiums, cafeterias and assembly areas occupied by large numbers of people pose a threat to those inside the building. Knowing what to do when the ground begins to shake can help to prevent injuries and deaths. (Kentucky law, KRS 158.163, requires earthquake disaster plans for schools and twice-yearly earthquake drills.)

The Kentucky Division of Emergency Management provides the following classroom tools to help students and their parents to better prepare for and survive an earthquake:

For Administrators

Earthquake drill report (February 7, 2006 Ky Earthquake drill report from)
EQ report (Official Earthquake reporting for School Drills)
Schedule of Earthquake activities (2006 Schedule of Earthquake Related Events)

Student Handouts

Cool Earthquake Facts (Earthquake facts to use in the classroom)
Duck-Cover and Hold Handout (Directional handout for Duck, Cover, and Hold procedure)
Earthquake Safety Quiz (Student survey about EQ safety)

General Information Handouts

Tip of the Day (Earthquake Preparedness Tips)
Emergency Supplies Checklist (List of essentials needed to prepare for an EQ)
How to Secure Your Furniture Handout (Preparation for your home and classroom)
Preparing Your Family for an Earthquake (Planning tips on how to prepare for an EQ)
Tips for the Physically Challenged (Useful tips for setting up the classroom and home)
Tips for Apartment/Mobile Home Park Managers (Preparation for a Mobile home and apartment complex)
Tips for Pet Owners (Tips for caring for your pet before, during and after an EQ)

1811/1812 Massive Earthquake Incident Information

George Heinrick Crist Report (Nelson County report of 1811 EQ)
Jared Brooks Observations (Recorded events during 1811-1812 incidence)
Largest Earthquake in Continent (Summary of 1811-1812 incidence)
Shaking Intensity in the 1811 Earthquake (Report from 1811-1822 incident)
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Go’n On! (reports from the 1811 Central Mississippi Valley EQ)
For additional information visit: Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Earthquake Preparedness