COLUMBIA CITY — Local emergency officials are teaming up with experts at the national level to raise awareness and preparedness in the event a disaster the likes of which rocked Japan should strike the Midwest.
The event, called the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut will be observed in April and will involve more than one million people, according to a press release issued by the Whitley County Emergency Management Agency/Department of Homeland Security.
The event is being organized by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium and will involve 11 states, including Indiana.
“The Whitley County EMA/DHS will be participating in this drill and would love to get this information out to the public,” said Cathy Broxon-Ball, agency director.
Broxon-Ball added that the drill for Indiana will be conducted at 10:15 a.m. April 19.
“We would love to have organizations, businesses and schools, churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. join in our fun shaking day,” she said.
“With more than 40 million people living and working in the central United States, a major earthquake could cause unprecedented disruption and devastation,” said the press release.
The participating agencies are advocating an earthquake emergency procedure called “Drop, Cover, and Hold On,” which they say is the recommended action to take in the event of an earthquake.
The 2011 ShakeOut drill will be the largest earthquake preparedness event in central U.S. history.
To participate, go to www.shakeout.org/centralus  and pledge your family, school, business, or organization’s participation in the drill. Registered participants will receive information on how to plan their drill and how to create a dialogue with others about earthquake preparedness.