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      Missourians Prepare During Earthquake Drill

      At 10:17 a.m., all across the nation, people practiced drop, cover and hold on.

      24 million Americans, including nearly 400,000 Missourians, took part in the biggest earthquake drill of the year this morning.

      They took cover during the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.

      At 10:17 a.m., all across the nation, people practiced drop, cover and hold on. Thatâ??s what you are supposed to do during an earthquake.

      The Missouri Hospital Association conference was interrupted for a few minutes for the nationwide earthquake drill at Columbiaâ??s Hilton Garden Inn. When you drop, cover and hold on, you should duck under a table or desk, cover your head and hold on to something sturdy.

      Earthquake Program Coordinator Brian Blake said, â??You donâ??t have a whole lot of time to react. We want people to not be wondering, what should I be doing when I feel this earthquake when it comes on? The best thing to do is to try and protect your head and neck.â??

      Communications are the first thing to go during an earthquake. Missouri hospital workers plan to use radio communications if the big one hits.

      Missouri Hospital Association Vice President of Health Planning Leslie Porth said, â??We continue to work on it with our partners at the Department of Public Safety and other state agencies to have radio systems that are redundant and can communicate across all aspects of this country and within this state to ensure that our first responders, our public safety and health care professionals can all coordinate an appropriate response.â??

      A small earthquake hit near Sikeston this morning just south of Cape Girardeau. Missouri gets earthquakes all of the time. Emergency officials said Missouri has about a 10% chance of getting a big earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or more during the next 50 years.

      In recent weeks, parts of the world have been rattled by powerful quakes, including a magnitude 7.1 jolt that killed more than 100 people in the Philippines and damaged historic churches.