The recent 7.8 earthquake in Nepal was approximately the same size as the New Madrid earthquakes that struck this region in 1811-1812, according to Emergency Management expert Bill Call. If the same earthquake struck here today, he says, we'd be overwhelmed but the damage and loss of life wouldn't be as severe as it was in Nepal because the building codes are different and the area is less densely packed. He speaks with Kate Lochte on Sounds Good about our region's governmental preparedness for earthquake response.
"It's very difficult to prepare for something of that magnitude."
Bill Call says the most recent disruption in our area was the 2009 ice storm, which was a learning experience for local emergency response. We lost power, telephone and water distribution, but still had natural gas, transportation systems and fuel sources. If those services had been taken out, too it would have made life even more difficult.
The American Red Cross is now regionally located in Nashville, but volunteers are available at a local level to help coordinate shelters. First responders are trained to first take care of their own family before stepping out the door. Call advises people update their contact lists and emergency supplies. For earthquakes, the protocol is to drop, take cover under something sturdy and hold on.
More about Kentucky Emergency Management - Under the tabs, look for earthquake preparedness.