Tom Bridger, emergency management coordinator for Sikeston, is encouraging more residents to develop an emergency preparedness plan. During Thursday's Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce membership luncheon, Bridger outlined what scientists are doing as well as preparations under way locally.
According to Bridger the area has experienced at least three major earthquakes. While most residents are familiar with the series of earthquakes in 1811-12, scientists have also used archaeological data to document major quakes here in 900 A.D. and 1450 A.D.
Although this shows the average time in between major quakes is 500 years, Bridger noted the probability of an earthquake registering 6.0, which last occurred in 1895 with an epicenter in Charleston, is 25 to 40 percent. In 1976 there was an earthquake of 5.0 magnitude centered in Marked Tree, Ark., and felt locally.
"The type of soil we have here make earthquakes felt much farther away," Bridger said.
By developing a family earthquake plan and establishing "safety spots" where family members can go during a quake, residents are better prepared for an emergency, Bridger said.
An earthquake kit will be essential to survival, he added, because like in disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or even the recent tornado which hit Caruthersville, it may take time for assistance to arrive. The kit should contain such things as a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, food, water and a first-aid kit.
In response to a question from a Chamber member, Bridger explained the city has emergency response plans in place. However, he added, response may be limited by the amount of damage an earthquake brings to the community.
Missy Marshall, SACC executive director, updated Chamber members on upcoming activities in Sikeston. These include:
* Today and Saturday will be the Senior Expo at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center.
* Saturday marks the conclusion of the Sikeston Corporate Games with "Super Saturday" at the Sikeston Sports Complex.
* July 4 activities will include a fishing derby and fireworks display hosted by the Sikeston Elks.
* The SACC Chamber Mixer will be from 5 to 7 p.m. July 13 at Double D Supply Co.
* The Farmers Appreciation Fish Fry will be from 5 to 7 p.m. July 27 at Nelson Tractor and Equipment. An awards presentation is set for 5:30 p.m.