"More than 160 schools in Illinois, including South Side Elementary in Effingham, will participate in a multi-state earthquake drill next February.
During the "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut," residents of nine states - Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma - will practice the recommended "Drop, Cover and Hold On" protective actions. Participants will drop to the floor, take cover under sturdy furniture and hold on to it until the hypothetical shaking stops.
South Side Elementary's first- and second-grade students participate in earthquake drill once or twice a year, said Principal Amy Niebrugge.
"We present it as: We practice, just like, to become a better reader, we practice; to become better as a sport, we practice," she said. "So, for a drill, we're just practicing, so we know what to do."
Plus, students get to be a part of an event that has attracted nearly 640 schools from the region.
"I think it will be neat for the students to be involved in something that will be on the news," she said.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is encouraging residents to sign up for the drill and read about disaster relief."