ILLINOIS (WEHT) – February is Earthquake Awareness Month and officials suggest it’s a good time to sign up for the international ShakeOut Drill in October.

Illinois Emergency Management Agency officials say schools, workplaces and individuals are encouraged to sign up for the October 19 Great ShakeOut Day. 

Illinois officials bring this up because Illinois sits between the New Madrid Fault Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. Officials say “drop, cover and hold on” is the best way to keep safe to earthquakes. The phrase reminds people to:

  • Drop down to the floor,
  • Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture,
  • Hold on to that object until the shaking ends.
(Courtesy: Illinois Government)

Officials say if someone uses a cane, they should drop, cover, and hold on or sit on a chair, bed, or other place, and cover their head and neck with both hands. The news release says they should keep their cane near so it can be used when the shaking stops.

(Courtesy: Illinois Government)

Illinois officials say if anyone uses a walker or wheelchair, they should lock their wheels if applicable. The news release says if using a walker carefully get as low as possible. Officials say people should bend over and cover their head and neck with their arms, a book or a pillow. The news release says people should then hold on until the shaking stops.

(Courtesy: Illinois Government)

Officials say it couldn’t hurt for Illinoisans to also look into getting earthquake insurance. A news release says homeowners should discuss more with their insurance agent on adding earthquake insurance.

“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.”

People can learn more about the Great ShakeOut Drill and register their participation at this website. More information on earthquake preparedness can be found at this website.