The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is a multi-state drill spanning much of the central United States. This page has information for participants living in Illinois.
Points of Contact
State Earthquake Program Manager
Jana Fairow, Illinois Emergency Management Agency
Phone: (217) 785-6984
FEMA Regional Earthquake Program Manager
William Heyse, FEMA Region V
Phone: (312) 408-5323
Illinois is at risk from two major seismic zones, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone and the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ). The Wabash Valley Zone is located between southeastern Illinois and southwestern Indiana. The NMSZ is located in the Central Mississippi Valley and includes portions of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee. During any 50-year time span, there is a 25% to 40% chance of a magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquake in this seismic zone. Since 1974, the year network monitoring of seismic activity began, more than 3000 earthquakes have been recorded in the NMSZ. Fortunately, none of these earthquakes exceeded a magnitude of 5.0, and most occurred without our noticing. The largest earthquake in recent years occurred on the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. This earthquake registered a magnitude of 5.4 and occurred in Mt. Carmel, Illinois on April 18th, 2008.
Did you know that the most powerful earthquakes ever to occur in the continental United States took place in the NMSZ during the winter of 1811-1812? At that time, the area of the seismic zone was scarcely populated. Experts estimate that a similar series of earthquakes today would devastate the region, with projected damages of $60 to $80 billion.
This section will be updated with more detailed hazard information for this area. For now, the following links provide local and statewide earthquake hazard information:
State Emergency Management Website
State Geological Survey Website
USGS State Earthquake Website