Central U.S. prepares for earthquakes

The earthquake risk in the Midwest has always been interesting to me. Both for the obvious self-interest reasons ... and because it feels like such an oddity. There are faults here, but you can't see them from the surface. Huge earthquakes have happened here in the past. But most of us are a lot more worried about preparing for tornadoes. (Quite reasonably, because they happen more often.) The Midwest gets tornadoes. We know what to do. We've been prepped for that kind of disaster our entire lives. But earthquakes? Not so much.

Until now. This is the first year that Americans in the Midwest—and parts of the South—will participate in an earthquake drill. Called the Great Central U.S. Shakeout, it's scheduled for April 28 (April 19 if you're in Indiana). But states are already getting geared up for it. At the Under Indiana blog, David Orr talks about preparedness efforts in his home state. Particularly as it relates to liquefaction—when an earthquake turns once-solid soil into temporary quicksand.

In Indiana, and other states, liquefaction during an earthquake could cause lots and lots of damage. Orr recommended the video above, where a resident of Christchurch, New Zealand cleverly demonstrates how liquefaction happens by pushing a wheelbarrow full of dirt around a bumpy walk.