Bringing Public Awareness to Another Level
With the world becoming ever increasingly hi-tech, CUSEC has continued to look for ways to promote earthquake mitigation and earthquake awareness in our Member States. A recent phenomenon, known as Geocaching, has provided us with a new avenue to get this information to a different audience.
According to the Geocaching.com website -
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the
world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is
to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share
your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age
groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the
In 2007, CUSEC placed the first in a series of at least eight educational Geocaches in the central United States. The geocache is located at our Memphis headquarters, and contains information on earthquake safety brochures and takeaways for cache visitors. Since putting the geocache out, we have received over 70 visitors to the site. Once the visitors find the cache, they then log their visit on the Geocaching.com website, where they can leave comments on the cache and it's contents. Initial feedback of the cache has been very positive, and has motivated CUSEC to put a Geocache in each CUSEC Member State.
In July of 2008, we placed our first Member State Cache in the rural Missouri town of New Madrid. This is an appropriate first state cache, as New Madrid is the namesake of the powerful New Madrid Seismic Zone. This cache is a partnership between CUSEC, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the town of New Madrid, & the New Madrid Historical Museum. The cache is already proving successful, with at least 10 visitors to the cache in the first month.
In 2009, more Geocaches were placed in our Member States. Blytheville, Arkansas, Tunica, Mississippi, and Hickman, Kentucky, Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee, New Harmony, Indiana, and Metropolis, IL now have CUSEC Geocaches. In Blytheville, we partnered with the Arkansas Dept. of Emergency Management, Arkansas Archeological Survey, and Arkansas Geological Survey to place the cache as part of Arkansas Earthquake Awareness Week. As part of Mississippi Earthquake Awareness Week, we placed a geocache at the Tunica County Museum in Tunica, Mississippi. This cache is a partnership between the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, CUSEC, and the Museum. In Hickman, Kentucky, CUSEC partnered with the state and local emergency management to place the geocache. The geocache in Metropolis, IL was a partnership between local and state emergency management, as were the geocaches in Reelfoot Lake, TN and New Harmony, IN.
To view the CUSEC Geocaches online -
CUSEC Headquarters Geocache
New Madrid, Missouri Geocache
Blytheville, Arkansas Geocache
Tunica, Mississippi Geocache
Hickman, Kentucky Geocache
Metropolis, Illinois Geocache
New Harmony, Indiana Geocache
Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee Geocache
Selected Comments from the Geocache Logbooks -
Logged by Netinator
"I enjoy the "What's Shaking" series as it keeps my mind on Emergency Preparedness..."
Logged by Skdela
"I read all about the earthquake and faults...so I got a very educational lesson..."
Logged by BitBrain
"After visiting this cache today, I realized that my earthquake preparedness kit has gotten rather empty..."
Logged by MackX
"I've been driving by this place for years,and I'm glad I had a reason to stop.Thanks to the nice gentleman for the hint,and what you do for the community..."
For more about geocaching, visit, http://www.geocaching.com