National Guard officials from eight states have contemplated disaster and hope that by doing so they have a better handle on how to react should the New Madrid fault rupture.
The Missouri National Guard hosted a conference to coordinate the emergency response of eight states should the New Madrid earthquake actually strike. The conference considered the damage an earthquake the magnitude of 6.5 would do in southeast Missouri and beyond. Public Affairs Representative for the 70th Troop Command of the Missouri National Guard, Bill Phelan, says the predictions are scary.
"According to the experts who were at this conference, the damage from a 6.5 magnitude or greater earthquake along the New Madrid fault would be a disaster of such magnitude that it would take ten years to recover from," says Phelan.
Phelan says those gathered at the conference in St. Louis looked at Karina as a model of what to expect.
"Katrina was a catastrophe that is similar in scope to what we think would happen if there was a catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid fault," Phelan says.
The conference allowed the eight states to assess their readiness, to better understand what they will need should disaster strike. The eight states which participated were Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arkansas. The meeting was billed as the first New Madrid Seismic Zone Workshop. It was held at the Millennium Hotel in St. Louis.