A series of small earthquakes has shaken the ground in parts of Arkansas in recent weeks. Although no injuries or major damage have been reported, the tremors prompted some Americans to sharpen their survival skills in the event of a natural disaster.
According to CNN, a total of 23 earthquakes struck central Arkansas in a 36-hour span last week. The largest of the seismic activity was a 4.3-magnitude quake that occurred at 2:13 a.m. on Feb. 18.
ArkansasMatters.com reported that hundreds of small tremors have hit the region since last June. Some residents have sent pictures to the news provider that show cracks in the Earth that were caused by the earthquakes.
Large-scale temblors in the U.S. are rare, but recent disasters in Haiti and China have reminded Americans of the catastrophic impact of earthquakes. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there are several protective measures citizens can take to prepare for the worst.
The agency recommends that homeowners repair defective electrical wiring, leaky gas lines and inflexible utility connections, all of which can become safety hazards during an earthquake. Furthermore, large appliances such as a water heater, refrigerator and furnace should be secured to wall studs. If strong vibrations occur, these items may tip over or slide abruptly, potentially harming anyone in their path.
FEMA suggested that individuals who live in areas that are susceptible to earthquakes should hold regular drills with their families. During these exercises, safe spots in the house should be identified, including under a sturdy table or under a door frame.