That’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency is conducting a national earthquake drill today to make sure everyone, even people who may not live in places prone to earthquakes, knows what to do when one happens.
The last serious earthquake felt by Floyd Countians was in 2003. It measured 4.6 on the Richter scale and had its epicenter near Fort Payne, Ala.
Called the Great Southeast ShakeOut, today’s drill will mark the first time that the southeastern United States will participate.
At 10:18 a.m. today, FEMA is asking for people to participate by stopping what they are doing, dropping to the ground if they are able, taking cover under a sturdy desk or table and holding on for a minute.
“Earthquakes occur all year long across our country — in a lot of places you wouldn’t expect,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate.
While earthquakes with a high enough magnitude to be felt are sparse in Northwest Georgia, they do occur.
“Earthquake preparedness is a part of our planning every year,” said Tim Herrington, deputy director of the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency. “The main thing is to seek shelter immediately and make sure that you are safe from falling items.
According to the Georgia Tech School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Northwest Georgia is among the greatest risks for earthquakes out of the entire state.
Floyd County is in the southern part of the Eastern Tennessee Seismic Zone, and an average of four earthquakes occur in Northwest Georgia every four or five years, according to Tellus Science Museum curator Julian Gray.