The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has released a free, downloadable videogame that is designed to teach youngsters disaster preparedness.
The Day the Earth Shook poses the scenario of an earthquake occurring along the New Madrid or Wabash Valley Seismic Zones in southern Illinois.
The game was developed by a bevy of institutions, including the Electronic Visualization Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Center for Public Safety and Justice, which is housed in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
While the title’s premise sounds all well and good, the price tag might cause the fiscally responsible to groan bit; according to a story on Heartland News, the game was funded by $286,000 in homeland security grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
It is available for both Windows and Mac platforms however.
A slightly-dated fact sheet (PDF) from an Illinois State Geological Survey states that the largest earthquake in Illinois history struck on November 9, 1968 and measured 5.4 on the Richter scale. The same group reports that the state’s last meaningful quake (3.8 on the Richter scale) hit on February 10 of this year.