State officials are wrestling with how best to fulfill a requirement imposed by the federal Homeland Security Department. The Department has requested every state file a self-assessment by January 17th. One of the requirements is to plan how officials would evacuate the entire state. Public Safety Director Mark James says that’s not reasonable. What he believes is reasonable is a plan to evacuate the 47 counties that would be affected by a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault. James says that’s a common sense approach to the federal requirement, because the state needs to be prepared for the New Madrid earthquake, which would include plans to evacuate 47 counties as well as the city of St. Louis.
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