• An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
  • An Image Slideshow
Preparing to Be Safe with the "Great ShakeOut"

For Release: February 3, 2013

Contact: Kyla Kruse, 217-546-6815

 Safe Electricity Share Tips for Avoiding Hazards Following Earthquakes

(SPRINGFIELD, ILL.)—On Thursday, February 7, people at businesses, schools and organizations across the Central United States will participate in an earthquake drill at 10:15 a.m. CST. The drill is part of the Great ShakeOut Central U.S., which promotes earthquake awareness and preparedness. Safe Electricity also wants you to be aware of electrical and natural gas hazards that can follow an earthquake and know how to stay safe from them.

The states in the Great ShakeOut include Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. All nine states could feel tremors from an earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, and most could feel the effects of a quake in the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. The New Madrid Seismic Zone is responsible for three of the 10 most powerful earthquakes in the contiguous U.S.

Experts at the Great ShakeOut recommend that when you feel the earth shake, the first thing you should do is drop—get down on your hands and knees. Secondly, cover your head, neck, and, if possible, your entire body by getting underneath sturdy furniture.  Only if there is no sturdy furniture nearby to take shelter under, then you should get down near an interior wall or next to low-lying furniture that will not fall on you, and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands. Then, hold on to the piece of sturdy furniture (or if there is no sturdy furniture, your head and neck) until the shaking stops.

“Earthquakes are terrifying and devastating events,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Safe Electricity program. “Unfortunately, the danger is not over when the shaking stops. Communities are still vulnerable to explosions, fires and electrical accidents. Understanding these hazards can be a matter of life or death in such a situation.”

When the earthquake stops, Safe Electricity has some additional safety tips for you to keep in mind:

  • In the home, do not use electronics, matches or lighters until you are sure there is no gas leak.
  • If you are in a severely damaged building, leave and go to an open space outside.
  • Be alert to dangers that could be hidden by debris, including downed power lines and broken gas pipes. If you hear hissing, smell gas or notice sagging or downed utility lines, stay away and alert the utility(s).
  • Warn and keep others away from downed power lines. Buildings, trees, cars, debris, even other utility lines and other objects can become electrical hazards if they are in contact with a power line, so be cautious.
  • If you can do so safely, turn off electricity at the main breaker; don’t if your house is unstable or you must stand in water to do so. Overturned and damaged water heaters and damaged electric circuitry can cause explosions and fires. Turning off electricity prevents this.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, get out of the house. Once outside call 9-1-1, and notify your gas utility. If you can, shut of the main gas valve. Find the shut-off valve at your gas meter, and twist it with a wrench in either direction until it is off. Do not turn the gas back on; only a professional can safely do this.
  • Aftershocks can be just as powerful as earthquakes. Be prepared, and practice the same safety procedures you would during an earthquake.
  • Don’t enter damaged property after the earthquake unless you are certain the electricity and gas have been shut off.

 

Safe Electricity urges everyone to take the time to learn vital safety measures and practice safety steps—before an emergency situation arises. Find out how you can participate in the Great ShakeOut and learn more about earthquake safety, visit www.shakeout.org/centralus. For more on electrical safety, visit SafeElectricity.org.

# # #


The Energy Education Council is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency. Established in 1952, the Council is headquartered within the University of Illinois Extension, and serves as a forum for diverse utility and energy organizations to collaborate on the mutually vital issues of efficiency and safety. Learn more at www.EnergyEdCouncil.org.

 


 

Search Content