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Earthquake Preparedness in the Midwest Is Topic of August Conference

Two minor earthquakes that rocked central Missouri this spring demonstrate the importance of earthquake preparedness in the region. Preparation for a significant quake along the New Madrid Fault is the subject of a conference to be held at Missouri University of Science and Technology this summer.

Preparing for a Significant Central U.S. Earthquake: Science Needs of the Response and Recovery Community,” will be held Aug. 12-14 on the Missouri S&T campus. The conference is intended for both first responders and engineers interested in earthquake-safe building structures.

Conference organizers hope to provide a regional forum for exchange of ideas and potential solutions involved with preparing for a significant earthquake in the central United States. It will bring together experts from academia, government, non-government agencies and the private sector to address the current and forecasted needs of the response and recovery community.

The conference kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 12, with a day of training opportunities. Training will be offered in the areas of structural assessment and visual evaluation; community disaster response; and using civil support teams for seismic event response.

The conference officially opens on Wednesday, Aug. 13, with discussions on such topics as the consequences of a major earthquake; timing, recurrence and probability of the next major event; engineering stresses and effects, transportation and infrastructure, geological and structural monitoring and geologic mapping.

On Aug. 14, attendees can choose from two tracks: science, maps and engineering, and federal and state response and recovery. A closed panel session for local, state and federal executives will also be held to discuss strategies for future investments in the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

Speakers include U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, Maj. Gen. King E. Sidwell, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, and State Emergency Management Agency Director Ron M. Reynolds.

Registration for the conference is $125, with a $25 discount for those registering prior to May 31. Training opportunities are included with the registration fee.

The conference is hosted by Missouri S&T in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey Mid-Continent Geographic Science Center, the Geology and Land Survey Division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the State of Missouri Emergency Management Agency, St. John’s Medicine and the Fort Leonard Wood Chapter of the Society of American Military Engineers.

For more information about the conference or to register, visit or email or call 573-341-6222.

Mary Helen Stoltz | newswise
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