An interactive kiosk is now available to help residents of southern Illinois learn how to reduce damage to their homes and prevent injuries during an earthquake. The earthquake education kiosk includes information about earthquake hazards in Illinois, safety tips and more than 80 how-to videos that demonstrate methods for securing bookshelves, wall-hangings, water heaters and other household items.
The kiosk is located outside the entrance to The Science Center in the University Mall in Carbondale. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium (CUSEC) collaborated on the development of the first-ever earthquake kiosk in the Midwest. The kiosk was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Motorola Solutions Foundation.
“While we can’t predict when the next major earthquake will occur, we can arm people with information to help them reduce both the damage to their homes and the risk of injury when the earth shakes,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We are very excited to have this new tool to use in our efforts to help people in southern Illinois be better prepared for an earthquake.”
Videos on the kiosk provide simple, easy-to-follow instructions on how to secure household items. The kiosk uses the New Spin 360 program to provide a visually interesting way to access the information. Development of the videos was funded by IEMA through federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds.
The videos will be available on the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov) in the near future. IEMA also will be sharing the videos with emergency management agencies across the country to aid with earthquake mitigation education in other earthquake-prone areas.
The kiosk and the videos were developed by a team of earthquake experts including Dr. Harvey Henson from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Scott Hodgson from the University of Oklahoma.
“We are delighted with the results of the collaboration to develop and complete the earthquake kiosk with IEMA, one of our eight member states,” said CUSEC Executive Director Jim Wilkinson. “It is a unique educational tool that will greatly enhance efforts to improve public understanding of earthquakes and how to prevent potential deaths, injuries and economic losses. The efforts of the design team to produce realistic and engaging content for the kiosk can’t be overstated. This will be an invaluable awareness tool the state can use for years to come.”
“The earthquake information kiosk has been an exciting project to direct,” said Dr. Harvey Henson, project manager and a geologist with SIU-C. “ This collaboration, to produce the first-ever earthquake information kiosk for the Midwest, will undoubtedly educate many people regarding the earthquake threat and hopefully save lives and mitigate potential damage if a large earthquake were to occur.”
On Tuesday evening, an earthquake-themed presentation by experts from SIU-C, CUSEC and IEMA will be held for the public at The Science Center in University Mall in Carbondale. Light refreshments will be served at 5:45 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.