Officials Say They're Ready for 'Big One'

September 13, 2005--Posted at 4:30 pm CDT

Jonesboro, AR--After watching the devastation unfolding over the last couple of weeks in and around the Gulf Coast, many people in Region 8 are asking, "how prepared are we for the big one?"

You may not realize it but Region 8 sits on top of one of the nation’s strongest fault lines. 


In December of 1811, the New Madrid fault line unleashed the first of three major earthquakes in the region.  The quakes were so powerful they rung bells on the east coast and were felt throughout the entire nation. 


Hundreds were killed and many say the fault is due for its next earthquake.  An earthquake many predict will completely devastate Memphis and the surrounding area.

Here at home officials say they are not taking the threat lightly.  Emergency 911 coordinator Jack Richardson says there are local and state plans in place for the "big" event. 


He says "It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when it will happen."

Richardson says on the local level the main thing they are worried about is a complete loss in communication.  Another problem could also arise if roadways and bridges are destroyed, slowing up deliveries of much needed supplies and goods.  M ost importantly he says people need to worry most about their personal plans.

"Get involved, get informed, get a plan," Richardsonsays.

For more information on how you can get involved you can go to the Craighead county office of emergency website at .