Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher, State Emergency Officials Proclaim Earthquake Preparedness Week

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, January 25, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher was joined today by officials from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, Kentucky National Guard, Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and Education Cabinet to proclaim February 1 – 8, 2006, as Earthquake Preparedness Week.

Governor Fletcher, state emergency officials proclaim earthquake preparedness weekGovernor Fletcher told those attending that Kentuckians could be rocked by an earthquake at any given moment. How well families and homes survive depends on the level of preparedness for and response to a disaster of this type.

“Over the past year, we have all seen the devastation which can be caused by natural disasters,” said Governor Fletcher. “It is important for our citizens, communities and schools to be prepared for such an event. During Earthquake Preparedness Week, I encourage all Kentuckians to learn more about the effects of earthquakes and what to do if one strikes.”

In a major earthquake (one measuring 6+ on the Richter Scale), the U.S Homeland Security council estimates that:

  • 1,400 fatalities will occur and 100,000 will be hospitalized;
  • 150,000 buildings will be destroyed with an additional one million damaged;
  • 300,000 Americans will be displaced;
  • Widespread power and utility interruption will last for several days;
  • An economic loss will reach an estimated hundreds of millions in damages.

U.S. Homeland Security says the event would be one with the same scale of devastation as Hurricane Katrina, but without the warning and no safe high ground.

To prepare for this threat, the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security is developing two earthquake exercises in 2006. One exercise will cover Morehead in the east – the same area as the 1812 quake. The other will be held in the New Madrid Fault Area to the west. Both events will test Kentucky’s emergency responders and communities, emergency communications, school evaluation plans and private sector infrastructure restoration, as well as public health, hospital and environmental support.

These exercises will ensure we are not only prepared as a state, but also able to serve the nation and lend support to our fellow Americans who might be faced with the same threat. 

“Ensuring our first responders are trained and equipped to respond to a large-scale disaster, such as an earthquake, is vitally important to the safety and security of our communities and that is why these upcoming exercises are so important,” said (Ret.) Maj. Alecia Webb-Edgington, Director of the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. “It is also critically important that every Kentuckian has a plan in place to deal with earthquakes and all other types of disasters, whether they are natural or man-made. Events like Earthquake Preparedness Week help raise the awareness of this essential aspect of preparedness and I applaud Governor Fletcher, General Storm and Kentucky Emergency Management for their work in furthering this effort.”

Kentucky Emergency Management has scheduled several events throughout the state during Earthquake Preparedness Week. A list of events is attached.

In addition, the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management is adding an Earthquake Preparedness Resources page to its website,  This page will offer information sheets for visitors to the site.

Additional citizen preparedness information is available at the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security’s website,

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2006 Kentucky Earthquake Preparedness Week
Schedule of Activities

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:00 am Room 110 of the Capitol

Governor Fletcher News Conference

Event is to announce activities of February 1-8 (see below).

Requested to participate: Secretary Virginia G. Fox (Education Cabinet), Commissioner Gene Wilhoit (Department of Education), Major General Donald Storm
(Kentucky National Guard), Maxwell “Clay” Bailey, Director (Kentucky Division of Emergency Management), Major Alecia Webb Edgington, Executive Director (Kentucky Office of Homeland Security), Jon Akers, Executive Director (Kentucky Center for School Safety), and John Keifer, Assistant State Geologist (Kentucky Geological Survey),

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Earthquake Town Hall Meeting
6:30 – 8:30 PM, Wednesday, February 1, 2006
Caldwell County Emergency Operations Center
102 Northfield Drive
Princeton, Kentucky 42445

Panel members from the emergency management and scientific communities will be on hand for a public discussion of the New Madrid seismic zone, emergency planning efforts, recent earthquakes, and general earthquake preparedness. There will be a 45-minute presentation followed by a 45-minute question and answer period with the panel.

Thursday, February 2, 2006

A one day training course for volunteers interested in learning the ATC-21 course on how to conduct “Rapid Visual Screening of Buildings for Potential Seismic Hazards”.

The training describes a rapid visual screening procedure for identifying those buildings that might pose serious risk of loss of life and injury, or of severe curtailment of community services, in case of a damaging earthquake. The screening procedure utilizes a methodology based on a "sidewalk survey" approach that involves identification of the primary structural load resisting system and building materials, and assignment of a basic structural hazards score and performance modification factors based on observed building characteristics. This training is for professionals in the construction and building inspection fields who will volunteer their time to conduct inspections.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

This is the anniversary of one the largest earthquakes to occur on the continental United States.  Located near Fulton County, Kentucky, it was the second strongest of three quakes to occur between December 16, 1811 and February 7, 1812.

At 10:07 the statewide Duck, Cover and Hold drill will occur.  It will involve activation of the Emergency Alert System from the State Emergency Communications Center and activation of the National Weather Service Weather Alert System to announce the drill.  While the Duck, Cover and Hold drill is primarily an exercise for schools in Kentucky, it is also the desire to have Kentuckians in private residences, small and large businesses, industry, and local and state government take a moment to consider how they would respond to an earthquake.