A campus wide alert helps prepare students in case of earthquake

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

TheGreat Central U.S. Shake Out Earthquake Drill took place in areas all acrossthe New Madrid Fault line. Safety Supervisor in Environmental Health and Safetyat ASU D.A. Davis says the purpose of the drill is to make people pause. "Thisis an exercise to bring awareness to earthquakes," Davis said. "Wealso 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 anearthquake, right now."

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

IvyHildebrand is a freshman at ASU. She was in class when the alert first poppedup on her phone. "At first when I saw it I thought it was one of those adthings 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 Isaw 'Duck and cover' I was thinking about getting under my desk. Then I lookedaround and nobody did anything and I figured it was just an alert drill."

FreshmanShelbi Raysor says these drills make her feel like she's ready to deal with anyemergency. "It makes you feel like you're more prepared," Raysorsaid. "And I definitely agree with what they're doing because honestly Idon't know how to react in an earthquake. I've never been in one...the alertshelp prepare us. So, I like it."

Davissays if each person on campus who received the alert stopped and thought aboutwhat they would do if it were real, then the drill worked. "We want ourstudents, faculty and staff to know how to protect themselves," he said.

Besure 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. "Youneed things like that stashed away somewhere that you can get too easily,"Davis said. Adding that Hurricane Katrina "proved that it's not 72 hourswe may be by ourselves, it could be ten to seventeen days."

Statesthat participated in the exercise were Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi,Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma and Indiana. For moreinformation about Arkansas State University's Environmental Health and SafetyDepartment, log onto this website. Foradditional information about the Great Central U.S. Shake Out Earthquake Drill,log onto this site.

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