TREMONT, Ill.–In Illinois we are used to seeing floods, blizzards, and tornadoes.
And we haven’t seen a damaging earthquake in Illinois since 1987.
But after a succession of earthquakes happened in California, local experts say it’s always smarter to be prepared.
“Stop what you’re doing, drop to your hands and knees, and why they say hands and knees is so you can stabilize yourself. Then if you’re near something where you can hold on, because if it would be something significant, you’d want to hold onto something while it’s going to move,” said Director of Tazewell County EMA Dawn Cook.
Cook says being prepared for an earthquake is extremely important in case one does hit central Illinois.
“People like to take it a step further and prepare their home a little bit, make sure they secure things, latch drawers, or secure heavy objects to the wall,” Cook said.
John Marino is a biology professor at Bradley University who teaches classes specifically on earthquakes, he says sometimes the aftermath of a quake is even more dangerous than the earthquake itself.
“Things can happen in addition to buildings being destroyed, things like gas lines being disrupted that can result in fires that can be even more detrimental than the direct effects of the earthquake,” Marino said.
And part of the danger with earthquakes is they are unpredictable.
“We can’t really predict them very well. So with these earthquakes in California we’re not sure if there’s going to be another one right away. People want to know, we had two fairly large ones in succession, is there going to be another one? People don’t realize that we still have a lot to learn about earthquakes,” Marino said.
Marino says that earthquakes are increasing because of things humans are doing.
“Earthquakes have been increasing in response to human activities like deep-well injections, and fractions that have been thought to increase earthquakes as well in places that they haven’t happened as much historically, like Oklahoma for instance,” said Marino.
If you’d like to learn more about how to prepare for earthquakes, you can head to the Illinois EMA’s website on earthquake preparedness.