Most of us missed out on the chance to take cover under a segregated, wooden desk on the orders of a math teacher who lost a leg in Okinawa. But with the bicentennial of the New Madrid earthquakes approaching, the days of duck-and-cover can be recaptured!
In five months and four days, Missourians will have a chance to participate in the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut, an opportunity to feel like a Californian and practice "drop, cover and hold on" skills.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone is a fault system 150 miles long, reaching from southern Illinois to northeast Arkansas. The zone produced four large earthquakes between December 1811 and February 1812.
Kansas City sits a reassuring distance from the fault line, which has kept relatively quiet since scaring the crap out of indigenous people and frontiersmen 200 years ago. A team of researchers determined that the ground surrounding the fault system is moving at a rate of less than 0.2 millimeters per year, a fraction of the tectonic jiggling along on the West Coast.
But like Hands Across America and that time a whole town tried to give up smoking for a $25 million prize, the Great Central U.S. Shakeout is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Midwesterners. Your table (or sturdy desk) awaits, Kansas City.