Earthquake Drill: Midwest drops, covers, holds on

February 8, 2012 1:31:55 PM PST
Thousands of people across the Chicago area prepared for a disaster Tuesday as part of an earthquake drill throughout the Midwest.

Students at Stockton Elementary School on Chicago's North Side took part in the emergency drill, learning what to do if an earthquake rumbles and shakes through their neighborhood.

Children who were a part of the drill say they now know what to do if the ground starts shaking

Students and teachers at Stockton are just some of more than 400,000 people in Illinois taking part in the shakeout drill

"Who would laugh about an earthquake happening?" said Datrion Jones, eighth grade.

"I am nervous. I would not expect it to actually happen. I have to take it seriously in case it does happen," said Jazmine White, eighth grade.

In Brad Balof's eighth-grade class, he's also having a morning lesson on natural disasters , including quakes.

"We want to make sure they are prepared, they know what to do for any type of emergency, including earthquakes," Balof said.

"Kids have to know to drop to the ground, get under the cover of a hard item -- a desk or chair -- and hang on. It's very important that they know the right thing to do," said Jill Besenjak, principal.

Many of the students had fun ducking underneath desks, but they also said they realize how important it is to really know what to do if an earthquake hits.

The Great Central U.S. Shakeout means people dropped, covered and held on. The drill consists of dropping to the floor, taking cover under furniture and holding on. It reminds folks to have an emergency kit with water, nonperishable food, flashlights and a first-aid kit. It comes a week after a minor earthquake in north suburban McHenry.

Tuesday's date marks the 200th anniversary of the devastating quake that took place along the New Madrid fault.

Police, fire and medical crews will also be taking part in the emergency drill, which starts at 10:15 a.m.