Earthquake Simulator Shakes Up Bloomington Residents

An earthquake simulator gave Bloomington residents a feel for a strong earthquake.

The Indiana Geological Survey’s “Quake Cottage” can simulate earthquakes up to magnitude 8 – bigger than any earthquake in the lower 48 states since 1900. The mobile trailer is designed to raise awareness of quake dangers in Indiana.

The Indiana Geological Survey’s Walter Gray spoke to people as they sat in the simulator and explained safety procedures Indiana residents can take to be safer and save money.

“We have a situation where there’s a little complacency, where we don’t have earthquakes very frequently.”

He says earthquake putty can help secure items to shelves and walls and so-called seismo-latches will keep cabinets closed to protect people from falling objects.

David Riese, a Ph.D. candidate in geology, says that he’s never experienced an earthquake first-hand, but thanks to the simulator, now knows what he would do in the case of one.

“I learned about the “stop, drop, and grab on.” I’d never really heard that term before so that was something new,” Riese says. “I mean I knew you should get under something but I’d never heard those three steps before.”

The simulator is one of only three in the U.S. Its creation was funded by a two-year grant from FEMA to educate Hoosiers on earthquake preparedness.

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