Earthquake Preparedness Program
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. Earthquakes are caused mostly by the rupture of geological faults. Two major fault systems are located in or adjacent to Indiana; the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. Sections of these fault systems are located in or near southwestern Indiana.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates there is a 7 to 10 percent chance, in the next 50 years, of a repeat of a major earthquake like those that occurred in 1811-1812, which likely had magnitudes of between 7.5 and 8.0. There is a 25 to 40 percent chance, in a 50-year time span, of a magnitude 6.0 or greater earthquake.
In a report filed in November 2008, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warned that a serious earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone could result in "the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States ," further predicting "widespread and catastrophic" damage across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee, where a 7.7 magnitude quake or greater would cause damage to tens of thousands of structures affecting water distribution, transportation systems, and other vital infrastructure. A major earthquake could result in thousands of casualties across areas of southwestern Indiana. See - Earthquake Hazard and Impact in the New Madrid Region
The purpose of the Indiana Earthquake Preparedness Program (EPP) is to coordinate and support the numerous earthquake mitigation, planning, training, and exercise activities for the State of Indiana. The Program involves the cooperative efforts of Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) personnel as well as local, state, regional, and federal partners.
The EPP is managed through the collaborative efforts of a Program Management Team consisting of personnel from IDHS Divisions engaged in earthquake preparedness activities. The Program Management Team is responsible for establishing and maintaining Program situational awareness for key stakeholders and decision-makers. Many earthquake-related projects, activities, and events are interconnected and will occur concurrently. Effective coordination, time management, allocation of resources, and decision-making support are critical to successfully meeting program objectives.