The United States Geological Survey reports that a 4.1 magnitude earthquake occurred at 7:37 a.m. on Sunday outside of Blytheville, Ark. Three Mississippi counties, Bolivar, Tate and Tunica, reported feeling the quake, but no damages or injuries were reported.
Other Mississippians who felt the quake can report it at the USGS's website, "Did You Feel It?" at pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/shake.
"A significant portion of the northwestern part of the state lies in the southernmost section of the New Madrid Fault Zone," said MEMA director Robert Latham. "Both citizens and businesses leaders should recognize this risk and be prepared for this potential threat."
Latham also serves as the chairman of the board of directors for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium. CUSEC was founded in 1983 and is a partnership of eight states that have a known earthquake risk in the central United States. CUSEC serves as a facilitator and coordinator for the multi-state efforts of the central region.
The following are tips to help your family prepare for an earthquake:
- Teach children to DROP, COVER and HOLD ON! Practice the drill at least twice a year to drop under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to one leg of the table or desk.
- Pick a safe place in every room of your home, such as under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.
- Wait in your safe place until the shaking stops, then check to see if you are hurt. Be ready for additional earthquakes called "aftershocks."
- Talk with your insurance agent. Different areas have different requirements for earthquake protection. Study locations of active faults, and if you are at risk, consider purchasing earthquake insurance.
- Be on the lookout for fires after earthquakes. Earthquakes can cause fire alarms and fire sprinklers to go off. If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use the stairs, not an elevator.
- If you are in a car during an earthquake, stay in the car with your seatbelt fastened.
- If you are outside during an earthquake, stay outside. Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights and power lines. Crouch down and cover your head.