Hoosiers prepare for Great American Shakeout

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The largest earthquake drill ever in the Midwest is set to take place on Thursday. Millions of people will drop and cover as part of the Great Central U.S. Shakeout. The drill will take place at 10:15 Thursday morning.

At Irvington Middle School, students will quietly make their way to the gymnasium. They will drop to the floor and take cover, preferably under a table. That is what you are supposed to do doing a real earthquake.

While millions of Americans are preparing for the possibility of an earthquake, researchers at Purdue University are also preparing. We spoke to workers in one lab where they are looking into the effects of vibrations on buildings and how to reduce the shaking. Researcher Shirley Dyke says they are essentially using gigantic shock absorbers, like the ones in your car, to make buildings safer.

"If we can minimize the vibrations due to earthquakes, than we can minimize the potential for some kind of catastrophic event happening during an earthquake," said Dyke.

Researchers say for the most part, buildings in the U.S. are relatively safe during an earthquake.

Indiana does have several major fault lines running underground and we do have very earthquakes from time-to-time, but a major earthquake is possible. If you are in your car when an earthquake happens, you should stop the car and stay inside. If you are outside, stay away from buildings and if you're inside, and whatever you do, don't go outside.

Historically, many people are killed during earthquakes when they run outside and are hit with falling debris.