GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) — Southwestern Indiana sits in the shadow of two seismic zones: The Wabash Valley Zone and The New Madrid Zone, both capable of producing earthquakes.

“What we have in The New Madrid Fault is what’s known as a severity fault,” Roger Axe, Greene County’s Director of Emergency Management, said. “See, San Andreas Fault, which is in California, is a frequency fault, which means that is has frequent earthquakes. The New Madrid Fault, it doesn’t go off that much, but when it does, the earthquakes are severe.”

In 1811 and 1812 two massive Earthquakes were produced in The Madrid Fault.

“Of course, there was very few people here, but it rang church bells as far as maybe Boston and it caused the Mississippi River to run backwards. That created Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee.

The Lesser known known, Wabash Fault, could pose an even greater risk because of the closer proximity, sitting on the southern border of Illinois and Indiana. Experts say that while we can’t predict when an earthquake will happen, we need to be prepared.

“We’ll it’s the big one! It’s coming,” Axe exclaimed. “It’s not if, it’s when! People need to be ready to go three to seven days on their own.” he added.

Axe says that in order to prepare, water will be imperative. First and foremost, he suggests strapping down your water heater to prevent it from tipping over. In the event of a quake or another natural disaster, your water heater could potentially be holding 40 or more gallons of potable water.

Axe said, “We have developed a semi-welfare state, that ‘the government is going to take care of me,’ and it’s impossible for the government to take care of everybody.”

According to the website,, “The best time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens…After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for several days.”

“We need to look at these {latest earthquakes} as a warning. And I think that we need to use our noggins and set back a few things. And be prepared and not scared,” Axe urged.

To learn more about disasters in your area, visit the website. The site has recommendations for staying safe before, during and after a quake as well as many other disasters. The site also provides a checklist to create a disaster supply kit.