The New Madrid Seismic Zone, located in southeast Missouri, has the potential to cause an earthquake with devastating consequences for the eastern half of the state. MoDOT’s response to a high magnitude earthquake will be critical to the safety and health of half the state’s population. Therefore, MoDOT staff regularly participates in statewide drills for earthquake preparedness.
|MoDOT’s Statewide Incident Command staff receive details on the magnitude of the mock earthquake at the statewide drill Feb. 26.
On Thursday, Feb. 26, senior management staff in all districts and Central Office participated in an high magnitude earthquake exercise. MoDOT management staff focused on potential impacts to the state transportation system and how senior management will respond using the National Incident Management System structure.
“This exercise focused on how senior management will organize and respond to a worst case earthquake scenario for potentially several weeks of staffing a command structure,” said State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright. “One of the first things we will need to assess is whose family has been directly impacted, what their immediate needs are and what their ability to come to work is. We have to address how we will staff the senior command structure in the St. Louis and Southeast areas where employees may not be able to come to work for the first few days after an event.”
Here are some tips to prepare for an earthquake:
Make sure your contact information is always kept up to date for all employees.
|During the mock earthquake drill, State Maintenance Engineer Beth Wright talks about the need to assess whose family has been directly impacted, what their immediate needs are and what their ability to come to work is.
- Make sure critical response personnel are aware of their roles and responsibilities. Have a plan for the event that some critical employees may not be available.
- In the event of a major disaster, attempt to account for all of your staff. If you are unable to do this because you are impacted personally, communicate with your management team so someone else can take over this role.
- Telephone, text and e-mail communications may be compromised, so alternate methods of communications may be required.
- Report to your district or central office Emergency Operations Center (EOC), any MoDOT staff that cannot be accounted for. The EOCs will work with the emergency management authorities to continue the location process.
- Be aware of your individual roles and responsibilities in a disaster.
- As soon as possible after a major disaster, communicate your status to your supervisor or management team. If you are personally affected, take care of your family first, but MoDOT wants to know your status as soon as you can.
A good resource for personal earthquake safety items is www.shakeout.org.