- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Scott City council hires former SEMO public safety director as city administrator (11/15/17)
It's been almost two centuries since the massive earthquake in the New Madrid Fault. The epicenter of that fault is in Missouri's Bootheel.
There is no reason to believe another New Madrid earthquake is imminent, other than the fact that fault zones don't shift on a timetable and earthquakes can't be predicted. But there are plenty of reasons to believe the earthquake zone isn't adequately prepared for a major disaster.
U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson and U.S. Sen. Jim Talent want to change that. Like all Americans, they have seen how government at every level responded after Hurricane Katrina. They would like to think a more effective response could be coordinated here. Local emergency-preparedness officials agree that, while it's next to impossible to anticipate everything, more and better planning are needed in the event of a major earthquake.
Emerson and Talent are pushing for a federally sponsored multistate emergency response exercise, which is likely to be conducted sometime next year. The exercise would be a field test simulating a real disaster.
To be realistic, such a field test will have to assume that most highways are impassable, phone service is down, electricity is off and water supplies are disrupted. In today's technological environment, testing the ability of emergency responders to cope under these circumstances sounds like a worthwhile exercise.