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'A little wake-up call': Here's how you can prepare for an earthquake

Taiwan Earthquake
Posted at 9:34 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 00:24:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A geophysics professor at Indiana University said Thursday's earthquake felt across Indiana should serve as a reminder that earthquakes do happen here.

"This should be a little wake-up call for those of us living in south-central or western Indiana to go over our home checklist and decide whether we’ve made our homes and workplaces as safe as we could," IU Professor Michael Hamburger said. "And perhaps a reminder to our government officials that this is something we have to prepare for in the longer term."

He said there are earthquake-designed building standards in the state because there is a prehistoric record or larger earthquakes in Indiana.

"We now know that there is a prehistoric record of larger earthquakes, perhaps even San Francisco-style magnitude 7 earthquakes, but these are very rare, maybe once in several thousand years in and around the Wabash Valley zone," Hamburger said.

Some buildings built before the 1970s are grandfathered in and are at some risk, Hamburger said.

Here are some tips to help you plan for Indiana's next earthquake:

  • Create a waterproof disaster kit to support each person for a minimum of seven days
  • Designate a meeting place away from the home and collapsible structures
  • Learn how to turn off water, gas and electricty supplies to the home from the main shut-off valve or switch
  • Place heavy objects on low shelves and lighter objects on top shelves
  • Secure heavy furniture and appliances
  • Consider purchasing an earthquake insurance policy for your home, rental properties and businesses
  • Practice DROP, COVER and HOLD ON

You can view more safety tips from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the American Red Cross.