SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — With February being National Earthquake Awareness Month, the Illinois Emergency Management System believes it is a great time to remind Illinoisians to prepare for a potential earthquake.
“Illinois sits between the New Madrid Fault Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone,” explained Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “I want everyone to understand the risks and know what to do if we have a significant earthquake.”
The agency started an annual earthquake preparedness exercise, the Great ShakeOut, following activity near the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which runs from southern Illinois to the south and west, in 2019.
A 5.2 magnitude earthquake registered from the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone, along the border of southeast Illinois and southwest Indiana, in 2008.
The largest quake ever recorded in Illinois was a 5.4 magnitude quake in 1968.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says there is up to a 40% chance of a major earthquake in Illinois.
“Standard homeowners insurance policies generally do not cover damage due to earthquakes,” said Illinois Department of Insurance Director Dana Popish Severinghaus. “However, Illinois consumers can purchase earthquake coverage as an endorsement to their existing homeowner’s policy. Like other types of insurance, costs for coverage will vary depending on the home’s structure, age, location, and the possible risk of an earthquake occurring in the area.”
Great ShakeOut Drill Day is October 19th, and IEMA encourages schools, workplaces, and individuals to sign up for the program.