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 Ohio.
Points of Contact
Ohio Emergency Management Agency
Jay Carey, Branch Chief, Internal-External Affairs
Phone: (614) 799-3695
FEMA Regional Earthquake Program Manager
William Heyse, FEMA Region V
Phone: (312) 408-5323
Although not considered a major risk hazard in Ohio, earthquakes have and do occur in the Buckeye State. According to the Ohio Seismic Network and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Geological Survey, Ohio experienced three small-magnitude earthquakes in March of this year; four small earthquakes in 2012; and a total of 17 earthquakes in 2011, including the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that occurred in Virginia on Aug. 23.
Ohio is on the periphery of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, an area in Missouri and adjacent states that was the site of the largest earthquake sequence to occur in U.S. history. Four great quakes were part of a series at New Madrid in 1811 and 1812. These events were felt throughout the eastern part of the country and were strong enough to topple chimneys in Cincinnati. In March of 1937, western Ohio experienced a 5.4-magnitude quake that knocked down or damaged every chimney in Anna (Shelby County). So much damage was caused to the local school that it had to be torn down.
In January 1986, a 5.0-magnitude earthquake took place in Lake County, impacting most of northeastern Ohio. This was the first Ohio quake that caused injuries and to occur near a U.S. nuclear power plant. The 1986 quake ranks the third largest in the state.
Other significant earthquakes that impacted Ohio:
The causes of Ohio’s earthquakes, as with those throughout the eastern U.S. are poorly understood at this time. Those in Ohio appear to be associated with ancient zones of weakness in the Earth’s crust that formed during continental rifting and collision events about a billion years ago. These zones are characterized by deeply buried and poorly known faults, some of which serve as the sites for periodic release of strain that is constantly building up in the North American continental plate due to continuous movement of the tectonic plates that make up the Earth’s crust.
Seismic risk in Ohio is difficult to evaluate because earthquakes are generally infrequent in comparison to plate-margin areas like California. Nevertheless, earthquake preparedness is important. Taking simple precautions before an earthquake or any disaster occurs can help prevent injury or loss of life or damage to property.
For additional information on earthquakes in Ohio, visit the following links: