Phillips County Taking Earthquake Threat Seriously

FEBRUARY 5, 2007 - Posted at 7:35 a.m. CST

HELENA-WEST HELENA, AR - Phillips County officials are taking the threat of an earthquake seriously.  The county is among those that lie near the New Madrid Fault line that runs from Illinois to Arkansas.  The Phillips County Office of Emergency Services says there is little time to react when an earthquake occurs and residents should prepare now.

Emergency officials say families need to plan on how they will stay in contact with each other if separated.

-They should post emergency numbers and a place to meet outside of their neighborhoods in case they aren't allowed into the area.

-Food, water, first aid kits, tools and supplies, clothing and bedding and special items for babies and the elderly need to be stored in case of a disaster.

-Keep all items in an air-tight container and change the stored water and food about every six months.

-In case of an earthquake, know where to turn off all the electrical, water and gas valves.

The Phillips County emergency service office is developing its countywide earthquake preparedness plan and the plan should be completed this year.  In the meantime, residents can get information on how to prepare for a disaster from the emergency office.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)