The Illinois Emergency Management Agency this month is spreading awareness of earthquakes and dangers the state could face.
Patti Thompson, communications manager for the agency, said there are two seismic zones that could affect Illinois.
“One (is) on the southeastern side of the state, which is the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone; and one (is) on the southwest side of the state, which is the New Madrid Seismic Zone,” Thompson said.
Thompson said the southern counties would have the most damage from an earthquake along those lines.
“Because of the way earthquakes are in the Central U.S., it would be felt throughout the state and there would be some type of impact throughout the entire state,” Thompson said.
Thompson said if an earthquake occurred similar to one on the New Madrid line more than 200 years ago, there would be catastrophic damage, injuries and death.
If an earthquake strikes, Thompson said the best thing to do is to get under heavy furniture.
“Drop down to the ground, take cover under a heavy piece of furniture and then hold onto that piece of furniture, because the shaking could cause it to move and you want that cover from anything that could be falling from the ceiling or the wall,” Thompson said.
Thompson said whether Illinois residents live in an earthquake danger area or not, they should make sure they have a home preparedness kit and are self-sustaining for a few days.
“You need to be able to take care of yourself for up to three days,” Thompson said. “And so you need water; you need food; you need a first aid kit; you need supplies.”
Thompson said the EMA has a series of approximately 70 to 80 short videos available on its website where residents can see tips on how to make their homes more prepared for earthquakes, including strapping the hot water heater and keeping heavy furniture from toppling.