A campus wide alert helps prepare students in case of earthquake - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

A campus wide alert helps prepare students in case of earthquake

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Over two million people across nine states decided to work together Tuesday morning to make sure they were prepared in the event of an earthquake.

The Great Central U.S. Shake Out Earthquake Drill took place in areas all across the New Madrid Fault line. Safety Supervisor in Environmental Health and Safety at ASU D.A. Davis says the purpose of the drill is to make people pause. "This is an exercise to bring awareness to earthquakes," Davis said. "We also want people aware of the fact that we do live along the New Madrid Fault. We want people to stop and think what they would do in the event of an earthquake, right now."

Davis says people don't often know what to do. "The best way to protect your self is to drop, cover and hold on to protect yourself from falling debris," Davis said. "Now, we aren't expecting anyone to actually jump under a table and hold on, but they will stop and check their phones when the emergency alert system goes off and it will at least make them think and make them look around and possibly think where they might go."

Ivy Hildebrand is a freshman at ASU. She was in class when the alert first popped up on her phone. "At first when I saw it I thought it was one of those ad things you get," Hidlebrand said. "And then I read it and it said 'Take cover' and I kind of got scared because I didn't know what to do. When I saw 'Duck and cover' I was thinking about getting under my desk. Then I looked around and nobody did anything and I figured it was just an alert drill."

Freshman Shelbi Raysor says these drills make her feel like she's ready to deal with any emergency. "It makes you feel like you're more prepared," Raysor said. "And I definitely agree with what they're doing because honestly I don't know how to react in an earthquake. I've never been in one...the alerts help prepare us. So, I like it."

Davis says if each person on campus who received the alert stopped and thought about what they would do if it were real, then the drill worked. "We want our students, faculty and staff to know how to protect themselves," he said.

Be sure to have an earthquake preparedness kit handy in a place you can get to it. Suggested items for the earthquake kit are food, water, a first aid kit, tools, flashlight, medication, clothing, durable boots and even some cash. "You need things like that stashed away somewhere that you can get too easily," Davis said. Adding that Hurricane Katrina "proved that it's not 72 hours we may be by ourselves, it could be ten to seventeen days."

States that participated in the exercise were Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Indiana. For more information about Arkansas State University's Environmental Health and Safety Department, log onto this website. For additional information about the Great Central U.S. Shake Out Earthquake Drill, log onto this site.

Copyright 2012 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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