Volunteers Help Prepare for New Madrid Seismic Event
This summer Jodi and Jesica, individuals served in the Community Living (CL) program, and Brenda Wilson, CL Supervisor, volunteered at the Show-Me Exercise: New Madrid Seismic Event on August 24 in Independence, Missouri.
As the title suggests, the trio helped emergency personnel practice and prepare for a massive New Madrid earthquake experts predict may take place by 2040.
The disaster response exercise required volunteers to act as actors for the Evacuee Reception Center, cooperate with the emergency shelter operations, help carry out plans to evacuate pets, and work at supplies distribution areas.
The daylong simulation set up volunteers in various scenarios designed to test emergency crewmembers preparedness. The latest technology for natural disasters was used: wristbands with digitized information detailing personal information that helps keep families together and organized.
Jodi, Jesica, and Brenda’s simulation was a newborn that wasn’t getting enough breast milk, and a pet. Crewmembers analyzed the situation, entered the proper information on the wristband, and sent them on their way.
“It was an adventure!” Wilson exclaimed. “This was definitely a new experience.”
“I got to meet a lot of new people. And I saw some people I did know,” Jodi says.
The New Madrid fault runs through southern Missouri. It caused the devastating New Madrid earthquakes in 1811 and 1812. The fault has been responsible for several smaller earthquakes, called aftershocks, since that time.
Scientists are closely watching fault movement to understand and predict the probability of another major earthquake. Until then, emergency responders are getting ready for what might be.