"Drop, Cover and Hold On"

UPDATED: April 28 at 3:45 p.m.

Earthquakes shake the planet everyday, even though some are just small tremors that no one feels.

Most people around here know of the New Madrid fault that lies in southern Missouri.

A big enough earthquake from that fault line will definitely be felt in the Tri-States.

Some say it's not if the fault line ruptures in the future, it's when, and that means it's good to be prepared.

Today, thousands of people in the Midwest took part in the Great Central U.S. Shakeout, a massive earthquake drill.

Most Hannibal schools took part, including Veteran's Elementary.

Anytime there's a drill at Veteran's Elementary, these tones start it off. The message that follows tells teachers and students what they should do. This particular drill was for an earthquake, so everyone knew to get under their desks.

Principal Beverly Walker says, "Teachers start talking to the students ahead of time because some get afraid of the drill thinking that means there is that thing that happens. They assure them it's just a practice."

Most of the teachers also talk to the students during the drill, so if the real thing ever hits, the kids will be used to hearing from the teacher.

Walker says, "When they are in the position they are in for an earthquake drill, it is scary to them. So practice helps them relax."

Since the tone for all emergencies is the same, it's important to remember you have to prepare for an earthquake differently than a tornado or intruder.

Walker says, " We stay away from lights, and windows as much as possible...where ever debris would be flying or falling."

The students also know to keep practicing through the whole drill until they get the all clear from the principal.

More than 275 school districts around the Show Me State took part in the Great Central U-S Shakeout.

Hospitals and medical facilities also took part.


Students at Veterans Elementary school in Hannibal hid under their desks for an earthquake drill.

Eleven states along the New Madrid fault line held a collective earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. Thursday, April 28.

The drill, known as the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the New Madrid earthquakes in 1811 and 1812.

That earthquake was estimated to have had magnitudes of 8.0, and could be felt on the East Coast.

FEMA had been planning the drill before the earthquakes in Japan.

Participating states affected by the New Madrid seismic zone will participate in the drill. Those states are Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Drop, Cover and Hold On is the safety motto in the event of an earthquake. Unless you are driving, you should immediately drop to the ground if an earthquake happens. If you TMre standing during a large earthquake, the ground movement could throw you down.

Take cover under something sturdy to protect yourself from objects hurled across the room. If you can TMt get under something, stay low and protect your head and neck with your arms.

Hold on until the shaking stops. Remember, aftershocks can occur after an earthquake.

There TMs a website dedicated to the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.

More information about disaster preparedness can be found at