I’M EXPECTING AN EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM: Earthquake That Wrecked Tennessee in 1811 Will Happen Again, Expert Says.

Tennessee hasn’t had a series of catastrophic earthquakes in more than 200 years, but experts say if such a thing happened before then it will most certainly happen again.

Officials with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency say they’ve spent decades planning for it and say it’s best for other Tennesseans to do the same.

“At that time, the 1811 and 1812 earthquakes formed Reelfoot Lake. The shaking rang church bells in Boston,” said TEMA spokesman Dean Flener.

“In 1811 and 1812 we didn’t have as many people living there as we do now — especially in Memphis. This will affect the entire central part of the United States, if not the entire country if we have a 7.0 magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid Fault line.”

TEMA officials train for such a quake and have emergency plans to mobilize resources and list which federal government or state resources they have at their disposal, Flener told The Tennessee Star.

They also have a plan to check roads, bridges, and interstates, Flener said.

If the big one hits then Tennessee residents, Flener went on to say, need to plan for getting cut off from the rest of the world. That means having five to 10 days’ worth of food and water, backup generators for cell phones, cash on hand, and an emergency supply of medicine, among other things.

“We do encourage homeowners to go in and secure bookcases and tall heavy objects to the walls in their homes. A lot of times it’s not the earthquakes that causes injuries and death it’s the stuff that falls off the walls,” Flener said.

“We tell people the Drop Cover Hold On Technique is the best way to protect yourself during an earthquake. Drop down, get under something heavy and sturdy and hold on until the shaking stops. Don’t run outside because you can be hit by falling glass, especially if you live in a city. If you run out and you feel the shaking in downtown Memphis you’ll run out in the middle of Poplar downtown and could be hit with falling debris.”

I have a backup generator that uses natural gas, and a backup backup generator that uses gasoline. (In lieu of storing gas for it, I have a siphon pump for the car tanks). Plus a couple of inverters, large and small. I keep some food, water, and supplies, and a crowbar, in an outbuilding where they won’t be buried if the house falls down. These are also precautions against the more-likely threat of a tornado, of course.

Thoughts on earthquake preparation, here. But everyone, everywhere, should be prepared for disasters.

And note Insta-Readers’ real-life stories here and here.