Arkansas prepares for the big quake

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - Shake, Rattle and Roll was the name of the earthquake functional exercise conducted in parts of Arkansas on Wednesday.

Craighead County Director of Emergency Management David Moore said the event was focused on communications. "We don't actually have people out there on the street imitating actual disaster. What we're doing is having a lot of communications traffic to verify that we can communicate with the needed services out there and with the state."

For this exercise a 7.7 magnitude earthquake occurs with the epicenter being near Marked Tree, Arkansas. Moore said part of the New Madrid Fault line runs right through the area.

Moore said, "New Madrid Fault Line is actually broken into I believe its three legs.  One goes over into Tennessee, one comes down through northeast Arkansas in Mississippi County and just right in the edge of Craighead County and goes down to Marked Tree."

The scenario within the exercise was very detailed allowing the Emergency Operation Centers personnel to prepare the best they can.

Moore said, "They have projections of what kind of damage we're going to have in northeast Arkansas. So we're taking those projections and assuming that is real life and we're taking our weather as it is today."

This exercise was very important in preparing for a catastrophic earthquake, allowing those involved the chance to see what areas need work.

"No matter how prepared you are, you always find the little things that go wrong.  In an exercise, drills like this you can cure those small problems. So the next time we have a drill, we know we'll have that taken care of."

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