Inside This Issue
Earthquake Awareness Month
QuakeSmart Business Summit
CUSEC Board Transitions
Earthquake Insight Field Trip
CUSEC Spotlight
GSA Publication Announcement
Calendar & Upcoming Events


As earthquakes continue to occur on a daily basis in the central U.S., CUSEC and emergency management officials in Missouri and Arkansas remind citizens and communities about the earthquake risk by designating February as Earthquake Awareness Month.


The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will observe Earthquake Awareness Month by hosting various activities throughout the State. Missouri has one of the longest-standing Earthquake Awareness Month programs in the Nation. Activities planned for the month include:

  • Missouri Seismic Safety Commission Meeting
  • Statewide Earthquake Poster Contest
  • Earthquake Town Hall Meeting & Preparedness Fairs
  • FEMA Quake Smart Business Seminar
  • "SAVE Coalition" Training Courses

The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) is also working to promote earthquake preparedness among its residents. ADEM is observing Earthquake Awareness Week from February 8-14, and will offer several training opportunities. These include ATC-20 Post-Earthquake Safety Evaluation of Buildings training (in Russellville, Pine Bluff, and Jacksonville) and a FEMA P-767 Hospital Mitigation Training in Jonesboro, Arkansas.


As a reminder to all who live in the central U.S., scientists say that the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) is the most active fault line east of the Mississippi River; in which a series of at least three M7-8.0 earthquakes struck the region during the winter of 1811/1812. 

Reelfoot Lake, located in northwestern Tennessee, was created during the 1811-12 New Madrid earthquakes.  Today, Reelfoot is a recreation destination known for its fishing, wildlife, and outdoor exploration.    


February 7, 2015 is the 203rd anniversary of the last of these great quakes, which forever changed the mid-western landscape; and were felt across the U.S. and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico, and as far north as Canada.


While scientists say that there is only a 7-10% probability of a re-occurrence of these earthquakes within any 50-year window, they also estimate that there is a 25-40% probability of a M6.0 or greater earthquake occurring in the central U.S. within the same period of time. About 200 earthquakes occur in the central U.S. every year-many of which go unnoticed.


And while the primary focus remains on the NMSZ, it is not our only area of concern.  Earthquakes are also occurring along the Wabash Valley and East Tennessee Seismic Zones and in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, and Texas. 


In addition to taking preparedness steps during Earthquake Awareness Month, one way to be ready for earthquakes is by joining preparedness movements such as the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill.  


Held annually on the third Thursday in October, the ShakeOut is part of a global effort that teaches people what to do before, during, and after earthquakes. Learn more about the ShakeOut by visiting


On Friday, February 6, 2015, CUSEC will take part in a business summit known as QuakeSmart. The summit, held at St. Louis University, is being coordinated by FEMA and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH).


QuakeSmart is a program designed to promote earthquake mitigation, preparedness, and planning for businesses of all sizes. As seen in the M6.0 2014 South Napa Earthquake, small and medium businesses can be significantly impacted by even moderate earthquake events. According to FEMA and the U.S. Dept. of Labor, 75% of businesses without a continuity plan will fail within three years of being impacted by a natural disaster such as an earthquake.   

QuakeSmart Business Summit

The QuakeSmart program was developed by FEMA to help businesses prepare for this unique hazard.  It teaches businesses how to minimize or eliminate earthquake related losses through a three step program:

  1. Identify Your Risk of earthquakes and learn how they can affect business continuity and the cost benefits of preparing your business.
  2. Develop a Plan to take mitigation actions to ensure safety and business continuity
  3. Take Action to perform mitigation activities using the FEMA QuakeSmart Program

During the February 6 QuakeSmart Summit in St. Louis, attendees will learn more about the program and hear from subject matter experts on earthquake hazards, business continuity, and earthquake mitigation.  


The summit is free, but registration is required. More information can be found at


 In January, at the CUSEC Board of Directors meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) Director Mr. Art Faulkner was elected as the new Chairman of the Board. Faulkner, who previously served as Secretary/Treasurer on the Board, has been Director at AEMA since early 2011.    


Mr. Faulkner replaces Jonathon Monken, former Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Mr. Monken has been Chairman of the CUSEC Board since 2013, and most recently led the CUSEC Board through the completion of CAPSTONE-14, a comprehensive state-led planning, training and exercise initiative that was created as a follow-up to the 2011 National Level Exercise. Monken recently left IEMA to serve as Vice President of U.S. Operations at the Electric Infrastructure Security Council in Washington, D.C. CUSEC would like to wish Mr. Monken the best in his new position and thank him for his leadership while serving on the CUSEC Board of Directors.


Mr. Mike Dossett, Director of the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) was named Secretary/Treasurer and Mr. David Maxwell, Director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) remained Vice-Chairman of the Board.


Also, since the last CUSEC Newsletter, Mr. David Kane was appointed Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). Mr. Kane has more than 30 years' experience in public administration and emergency response/management and replaces Mr. John Hill, who was appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff of Public Safety in the Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence.


In addition to these CUSEC Board Transitions, several CUSEC State Earthquake Program Managers have moved to new positions recently.
  • Jana Fairow, Illinois, retired from State Government at the end of 2014. Darryl Dragoo is the new IEMA earthquake point-of-contact for the time being.
  • Karrie Cashdollar, Indiana, took a new position within IDHS, Steve Broniarczyk is the new IDHS earthquake point-of-contact.
  • Donna Gray, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Earthquake Program Manager, recently took a new position within the agency.  Ryan Carlton, MEMA's new Natural Hazards Program Manager is taking on earthquake program responsibilities from Ms. Gray.
  • Melissa Mayo, AEMA Earthquake Program Manager, recently took a new position with Alabama Power Company.

CUSEC wishes these State Earthquake Program Managers the best in their new positions and endeavors.


From Friday, April 10 through Sunday, April 12 of 2015, students, faculty, practicing professionals, and others who are interested in earthquake hazards and earthquake risks in the central U.S. will participate in an Earthquake Insight Field Trip.


A collaborative group effort through the University of Missouri at Columbia and the St. Louis section of the Association of Engineering & Environmental Geologists (AEG), the Earthquake Insight Field Trip aims to help geoscientists show the risks associated with earthquakes in the central U.S.; as well as show how engineers have designed structures that can withstand them.  


This three day field trip will begin in Cahokia, Illinois, which is just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. The route will include parts of southwest Illinois, southeast Missouri, western Tennessee and western Kentucky. Field trip leaders Phyllis Steckel, a Registered Geologist and Dr. Paco Gomez, faculty advisor and representative of the University of Missouri at Columbia will lead discussions focused on field evidence of past earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), earthquake source zones and some of the engineering challenges unique to central U.S. earthquake country.


This is the tenth Earthquake Insight Field Trip since June of 2005. Reservations for the Earthquake Insight Field Trip will open on Monday, March, 2, 2015. For more information, contact Phyllis Steckel at 636-239-4013 or at




Joe Gillman, a registered geologist, is Director and State Geologist for the Missouri Geological Survey - a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. He has more than 18 years' experience managing geological investigations in areas of economic geology and natural resource evaluation, environmental geology and waste disposal, and geologic hazards. Mr. Gillman is currently the Chairman of the Association of CUSEC State Geologists, comprised of the heads of the eight CUSEC Member State Geological Surveys.


As State Geologist, Gillman is the lead Missouri representative related to geologic issues and geologic policy development. He is a member and vice president of the Association of American State Geologists and recently served as the central states' representative for the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program and the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program. He is a member of the State Oil and Gas Council, the Land Reclamation Commission, the Missouri Board of Geologists Registration, the Well Installation Board, the Industrial Minerals Advisory Council and represents Missouri interests in the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.  


A graduate of Missouri State University, Gillman is a member of the Alumni Advisory Board for the Department of Geography, Geology, and Planning at the University and is also an active member of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists.  Joe is also former president of the Association of Missouri Geologists.


1. When did you start working in Geology, and what led you to pursue this line of work? I always sort of "knew" that I wanted to do something in earth science as I had always been intrigued and fascinated by the processes the shaped our landscape. Growing up in southwest Missouri exposed me to the rich history of the Tri-State mining district, the rock outcroppings of Table Rock Lake and the changing topography from the Ozarks region to the prairies. I always wanted to know more about the formation of the rocks, minerals and soils and the processes that shaped them. I often found myself scouring rock outcroppings for interesting finds whether it is a fossil, a mineral, or just a cool rock. I started working in geology in college when I had a part time job processing carbonates and extracting conodont fossils for a professor's research emphasis. It wasn't glamorous by any stretch, but it was a great learning experience.


2. Since joining the department in 1995, what has been your most memorable experience? The best experiences are when we accomplish something as an organization. We are a public service agency and our mission is to provide unbiased scientific analysis of Missouri's geologic and hydrologic resources for the benefit of Missourians. It is a good feeling when we apply our expertise to a problem and provide solutions that make a difference. I have many memorable experiences, and several stand out, but I hope that means we are being successful as an agency.


3. You've worked with many different people and organizations (CUSEC in particular), what lessons have you learned that have helped you do your job better? Working with so many different people and organizations I think has really helped me embrace openness to differing opinions and approaches to solving problems. Each CUSEC Member State brings something to the discussion. No two states are alike and no two states have the exact same issues facing their geological survey or emergency management agency. Therefore it is a great opportunity to learn how colleagues view a challenge and approach solutions to those challenges. Preparing for an earthquake and making our communities more resilient is a difficult task. An openness to new ideas and, if necessary, changing our strategies has allowed me to do my job better and allowed our agency to put forth all efforts to do the best job we can. 

4. How do you respond to people who don't take earthquake emergency preparedness and mitigation seriously?
I think we do our best to educate the public and I think the emergency planners and scientists across the CUSEC region should be commended for their efforts, but there will always be those who refuse or ignore those efforts. The geologic record indicates a history of seismic activity along the New Madrid Seismic Zone and there is a high probability of another damaging earthquake at some point. Although we can't predict when that will be, we can take some very simple steps to be prepared for that event. I try to convey a common sense approach to preparedness in a manner that might feel more relevant to someone. In this part of the country we are accustomed to hazards such as tornadoes, flooding and ice storms. Many of the same emergency preparedness items someone would need in the event of an earthquake can also serve the same purpose during another natural hazard event such as an ice storm or a tornado. So why not put together an emergency kit for a variety of reasons?

5. How has working at Missouri DNR been rewarding for you?
I really enjoy working in applied science and I also enjoy public service, so for me the department's geological survey is a natural fit. I want to contribute to the betterment of Missouri and its economic vitality and environmental health. Working for the department allows me to combine my love for earth science with the desire to help people discover, enjoy, enhance and protect Missouri's natural resources.


The Geological Society of America (GSA) has just announced that a new publication entitled: The 2011 Mineral, Virginia, Earthquake, and Its Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America is now available to order. This special 23 chapter book covers a wide range of geoscience, engineering and related studies of this rare seismic event, and its effects on central Virginia, Washington D.C. and beyond.   


The book grew out of a topical session on "Central Virginia Earthquakes of 2011: Geology, Geophysics, and Significance for Seismic Hazards in Eastern North America" at the 2012 GSA annual meeting.  While the intended audience for this book includes geoscientists, engineers, and decision makers who want to understand earthquakes and seismic hazards in North America and other intraplate settings; anyone interested in this topic is welcomed to order it.


Digital files of this special publication are also available at, where an abstract summarizing each of the twenty-three chapters is available free to the public, and where the full chapters are individually downloadable as PDFs via some library accounts.


February 2015
February 5 - Missouri Seismic Safety Commission Meeting; St. Louis, MO
February 6 - QuakeSmart Business Summit; St. Louis, MO 
February 7 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Training; St. Louis, MO 
February 9 - ATC-20 Post-Earthquake Training; Russellivlle, AR 
February 13 - TNSAVE Planning Meeting; Nashville, TN 
February 19 -ATC-20 Post-Earthquake Training; Pine Bluff, AR
February 21 - Emergency Preparedness Fair; Sikeston, MO
February 25 - Earthquake Town Hall Meeting; Ste. Genevieve, MO
February 25-26 - Mississippi Earthquake Summit; Tunica, MS
February 27 - Missouri S.A.V.E. Training; Troy, MO
February 28 - Earthquake Preparedness Event at Onondaga Cave State Park; Leasburg, MO 

March 2015
March 12 - FEMA P-767 Hospital Mitigation Training; Jonesboro, AR
March 13-17 - NEMA Mid-Year Policy/Leadership Forum; Alexandria, VA

March 20 - ATC-20 Post-Earthquake Training; Jacksonville, AR


For more information or to view other upcoming events, please visit the CUSEC website online calendar.
The Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Our primary mission is "the reduction of deaths, injuries, property damage and economic losses resulting from earthquakes in the Central United States". For more information about us, please visit or contact us at (901) 544-3570.