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Springfield and Greene County Will Participate in Earthquake Response Exercise

For three days in June, emergency responders will participate in a statewide New Madrid earthquake exercise. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

Even though the New Madrid fault runs along the south eastern side of Missouri, Springfield and Greene County would play an important role in responding to a significant New Madrid earthquake.

City and county officials will put their preparedness to the test during an earthquake exercise the third week of June.

Ryan Nicholls is director of the Springfield Greene County Office of Emergency Management.

He says depending on the magnitude, Southwest Missouri could feel the impact of a New Madrid earthquake.

Beyond the possibility of damage, Southwest Missouri would be impacted in another way.

Nicholls says Springfield and Greene County would help displaced residents from eastern Missouri and emergency responders.

The June earthquake exercise will be what's known as a "table top exercise." It's less expensive than a full-scale exercise but still gives communities the chance to review procedures and resource capabilities. This exercise will present a worst case scenario.

Nicholls says even though the exercise will focus on responding to a significant earthquake, it's a chance to learn how to better respond to other disasters.

As emergency management officials practice their response to catastrophic events like large-scale earthquakes, Nicholls says individuals and families need to be ready themselves by having a 72-hour kit.

Nicholls says the earthquake exercise in June will give officials a chance to evaluate their initial response as well as their long-term response, extending to several weeks after the event.