When you hear the word “earthquake,” do you immediately think of faraway lands like China and Indonesia? Or perhaps places much closer to home, such as California and Alaska? Either way, chances are you did not think about the central United States, or more specifically, the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. But the Central United States Earthquake Consortium (USEC) certainly did. In fact, they promote February as Central U.S. Earthquake Awareness Month.

CUSEC understands that unlike California and western U.S. states (where earthquake faults can be hundreds of miles long as well as visible on the earth’s surface), there is tremendous potential for seismic activity in the central U.S. It is there, according to USEC, that “faults are buried deep underground” and oftentimes “clustered together,” creating active “seismic zones.” And, while many people may be familiar with the New Madrid Seismic Zone, they may know very little about others, including the East Tennessee and Central Virginia Seismic Zones, both of which could produce “damaging earthquakes at any time.”

It is important to know that earthquakes can, and do, occur on a regular basis throughout the central U.S. (actually hundreds of times per year). Thankfully, they are small and, for the most part, go completely unnoticed by the general population. A major earthquake, on the other hand, is one that measures between 7 and 7.9 on the Richter Scale, and results in widespread destruction and oftentimes loss of life. 

CUSEC’s primary mission is “… the reduction of deaths, injuries, property damage, and economic losses resulting from earthquakes in the central United States.” The consortium “seeks to fulfill the ambitious goals of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977” through three key concepts: planning, public education, and mitigation. 

Like CUSEC, Tennessee-based BOLDplanning understands that the potential for seismic activity in the central U.S. is very real and that preparedness is key. The company, which offers a cloud-based platform for emergency, continuity, and hazard mitigation planning and expert consulting services, also appreciates the consortium’s ongoing efforts to promote earthquake awareness during the month of February. At BOLDplanning, we are happy to help CUSEC spread the word in 2021. Pass it on!