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Ohio Emergency Management Agency

ReadyOhio Are You Ready for an Earthquake?



Ohio is a proud partner of the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC)

If a substantial earthquake were to happen in Ohio, would you know what to do? Would you know how to protect yourself and others? Ohio doesn’t typically experience earthquakes on a large scale, but they do occur.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio Seismic Network Earthquake Database, 14 small-scale earthquakes or tremors have been detected between January 15 and August 31, 2021. The strongest recorded had a 2.5 magnitude and occurred in Allen County on February 11, 2021.

Shelby County recorded the most earthquakes this year. Four small-scale tremors ranging from 0.7 to 2.1 magnitude were detected January 15, April 15, July 16 and August 18, 2021.

An earthquake is the sudden, rapid shaking of the earth, caused by the breaking and shifting of subterranean rock as it releases strain that has accumulated over time. Initial mild shaking may strengthen and become extremely violent within seconds. Aftershock may follow the initial earthquake.

Know what to do before, during and after an earthquake. Visit www.ShakeOut.org/centralus/ for earthquake preparedness information and resources, and to register for the annual ShakeOut earthquake drills.

Before an Earthquake

  • Find out if your community is at risk of earthquakes. Contact your local emergency management agency, local Red Cross chapter, or the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Geological Survey.
  • Secure items that could fall or move and cause injuries or damage (such as bookshelves, mirrors, light fixtures, televisions, hot water tanks).
  • Plan and practice how to Drop to the ground, Cover your head and neck with your arms, and if a safer sheltering object is nearby (desk, table) that you can get to, crawl to it and Hold On to maintain cover. To react quickly, you must practice emergency plans often.
  • Make a disaster supplies kit. Store critical supplies (water, medication, first aid kit) and documents.
  • Plan how you will communicate with family members by making a family emergency communication plan.

During an Earthquake

If inside when the shaking starts

  • Drop, Cover and Hold On. Move as little as possible.
  • If youíre in bed, stay there. Curl up and hold on. Protect your head with a pillow.
  • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass
  • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure itís safe to exit. If you must leave the building after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator, in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damage.

If outside when the shaking starts

  • Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops (away from buildings, power lines, trees, street lights).
  • If youíre in a vehicle, pull over to a clear location and stop. Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines, if possible. Stay inside the vehicle until the shaking stops.
  • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Call and wait for assistance.

After an Earthquake

  • When the shaking stops, look around. If there is a clear path to safety, leave the building.
  • If you have a cell phone with you, use it to call or text for help.
  • Once safe, monitor local news reports via radio, TV, social media and/or cell phone text alerts for emergency information and instructions.
  • Check for injuries and provide assistance, if youíve had training. Assist with rescues, if you can do so safely.

Earthquake safety tips for individuals with disabilities or access and functional needs are available at Earthquake Country Alliance: Resources for People with Disabilities.

Are You Prepared for an Earthquake?

Millions of people worldwide will practice how to Drop, Cover, and Hold On at 10:21 a.m. on October 21, 2021 during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills. Ohio residents, click here to register for the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut.

Ohio Earthquake Epicenters

ODNR Division of Geological Survey

quake map


Source: https://gis.ohiodnr.gov/MapViewer/?config=earthquakes

For additional earthquake information:

Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources: Earthquakes in Ohio
ODNR Division of Geological Survey
Ready.gov - Earthquakes
Be Red Cross Ready, Earthquake Safety Checklist
Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety

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