Students drop, cover & hold on for ‘Great ShakeOut’ earthquake drills

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JACKSON, Tenn. — People across the country paused Thursday to practice for an earthquake. The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is an annual event. An earthquake drill sent students scrambling for cover at the Therapy and Learning Center in Jackson. Program Manager Jessica Beaver said they want to improve safety. “We practice different drills like fire, tornado, things like that, but we try to put those alternate drills in that you might not do every day,” she said. The drill is part of the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut. At 10:15 a.m. people across the country drop, cover and hold on. “If you don’t do a drill, how do you know what to do when it happens?” Jackson-Madison County Emergency Management Agency Director Marty Clements said. Clements said the Jackson-Madison County School System, Tennessee Highway Patrol and even hospitals participated in the drill. Clements said the New Madrid fault line affects West Tennessee and that an earthquake is possible. “This definitely could happen, and I have felt light ones before,” he said. Beaver said they want students to know how to react during an earthquake and hope kids take that safety knowledge home with them. “Knowing that we’re on that earthquake fault line and the dangers of that, we felt it was essential for our children to learn the safety,” she said. Clements encouraged people to stay away from gas and water lines in the event of an earthquake and said if you have to evacuate a building, stay out until someone clears it.

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