Unique way of learning about earthquakes - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Unique way of learning about earthquakes

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By Becky Graham - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Sarah Harlan - email

NEW HARMONY, IN (WFIE) - As Tri-Staters know, earthquakes can happen here, and they have in recent years, rattling buildings and our nerves.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium have discovered a unique way to educate and prepare the public for the next natural disaster.

The method of education is known as geocaching.

Each year people around world get coordinates found on the geocaching website, and using their GPS systems hunt for the boxes.

Tuesday, CUSEC placed one geocache in New Harmony, and if you can find it, there's earthquake information inside.

In states like California, earthquakes are common occurrences, so knowing what steps to take are second nature.

Here in the Tri-State, the threat is real, but often forgotten.

"It's very important that people know that it's a good possibility, not just at the New Madrid Fault, but right across the river here at the Wabash Valley Fault, we're subject to having an earthquake at anytime," Sherman Greer with the Vanderburgh County EMA said.

For sometime now the state Homeland Security Department has been finding ways to educate Hoosiers on threat of earthquakes.

With the help of Central U.S. Earthquake Consortium, they've partnered with Geocache.

"This is the particular audience we are reaching out to," Jim Wilkinson with CUSEC said. "Trying to help them understand there are steps they can take to reducing their vulnerability. We're not helpless in this, there are very cost effective measure that could be taken."

The box labeled What's Shaking will be hidden in New Harmony.

Just like any other geocache, it's coordinates will be added to the website.

To find it, people must plug in the coordinates to their GPS and hit the road.

"It's like a scavenger hunt for these people, and those people who are taking the time to do that are wanting the information and finding out more about our community," Greer said.

Photojournalist Randy Capeheart, who's been geocaching for years, said he's certain these box additions will be popular among his fellow geocachers.

"It's going to be sharing those tips that is going to be very beneficial," Capeheart said. "It's just another way for them to get the word out about preparedness, so if this works for people, great."

The five other What's Shaking geocaches have been hidden in neighboring states, and so far the response has been positive.

Click here if you would like to find out about the more about geocaching.

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