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IEMA warns of earthquakes in Illinois

Wednesday, July 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Laurie Dougherty
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The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is asking residents to develop emergency plans in the wake of southern California’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake.

According to the IEMA, California residents continue to experience significantly powerful aftershocks — and records indicate Illinois has been rocked by some of the largest earthquakes ever measured in North American history.


Illinois is flanked on its western and eastern borders by two active seismic zones: the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone.

The IEMA news release says “an earthquake similar to what was recently experienced in California could have devastating effects” on our state.


“Creating an environment of education, awareness and preparedness will save lives in Illinois,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “While we cannot predict when the next major quake will occur, we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”

Believe it or not, learning how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” can help people prevent injury during an earthquake, the IEMA says.

The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.


There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, including:

• Strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs
• Anchoring overhead light fixtures
• Fastening shelves to wall studs and securing cabinet doors with latches
• Strapping TVs, computers and other heavy equipment to prevent tipping
• Learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged


Each year the Illinois Emergency Management Agency leads an initiative to register homes, businesses, schools and organizations in the world’s largest earthquake drill.

This year’s earthquake drill will take place at 10:17 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.

The IMEA says it’s never too early to register your participation in this potentially life-saving event. Register at


Learn more about how you can prepare your home, business and family for an earthquake at There, you will find preparedness and mitigation tutorial videos that will walk residents and business owners through the process of preparing your home, family and community for this natural disaster.

Earthquake safety tips will also be posted throughout February on the Ready Illinois Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.


SOURCE: IMEA news release

Earthquakes in Illinois

According to the Illinois State Geological Survey, Kane County was hit with a 5.1 magnitude earthquake back in 1909.

Wabash County in Illinois recorded a 5.4 level earthquake in 2008.

A seismic event took place as recently as 2015.

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