Updated April 27, 2011
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow, Thursday, April 28, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will travel to St. Louis to join Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, students, school officials and other state and local officials for a public earthquake drill, "the Great Central U.S. ShakeOut" at Carnahan High School of the Future. Prior to the ShakeOut drill, the Secretaries will meet with school officials and join a class on earthquakes. Missouri is one of 11 states participating in the exercise.
The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut is the first-ever multistate public earthquake drill to be conducted in the United States. Eleven states total are participating in this ShakeOut, along the earthquake-prone region known as the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Scientists currently predict a major earthquake could hit the region in the next 50 years.
To date, over 2.9 million Americans have signed up to participate in the drill, including 2,328 schools and 92 colleges and universities. Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other agencies will be participating in ShakeOut drills in other participating states; more details on those events will be released by FEMA today.
Following the drill, Secretary Duncan will host a roundtable discussion on college completion with students at St. Louis Community College at noon. The event is part of the Obama Administration's initiative to host 100 roundtables with young Americans across the country by the end of May. The students will talk about the challenges they have faced as well as strategies for completing college.