Don't worry, we're not expecting an earthquake like California just experienced--but it never hurts to take some time to prepare in case the unthinkable happens.

After California's recent experience with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, authorities in Illinois are asking people to do what they can to make themselves ready here in the Land of Lincoln.

They say that the 7.0 magnitude quake that shook California would have a devastating impact on our state.

Why should we worry?

Illinois is flanked on its western and eastern borders by two active seismic zones: the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. The New Madrid fault zone is very active. In 1811-1812 the area in southern Missouri was hit by an earthquake that registered 7.5 on the Richter scale. It was felt up the eastern seaboard into New York City, Philadelphia, even up to Canada. The quake was so powerful, there were reports of church bells ringing in New England due to shaking.

Fox 2 Now:

WLOX-TV reports that the risk of another earthquake on the New Madrid fault of the same size is 7 – 10 percent over the next 50 years. A scientist tells them that the likelihood of an earthquake on the New Madrid fault of a 6.0 during the same timeline is around 40-50 percent.

So, how do you prepare?

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency:

  • Strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs
  • Anchoring overhead light fixtures
  • Fastening shelves to wall studs and securing cabinet doors with latches
  • Strapping TVs, computers and other heavy equipment to prevent tipping
  • Learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged