HomeWeatherDoes Michigan Have Earthquakes? Quake Safety Guide

Does Michigan Have Earthquakes? Quake Safety Guide

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Many people often wonder, does Michigan have earthquakes? This is a common concern among new residents since Michigan’s neighbours are not unfamiliar with devastating natural disasters. You need all the information on earthquakes to better prepare for them.

This article will dive into the threat of earthquakes in Michigan and their history and give you a proper guide on handling yourself in case one happens. These are crucial details that could save lives, so let us get into the details and learn more; 

Does Michigan Have Earthquakes?

Michigan has had earthquakes, but it is not a common occurrence. Settlers have accounts of earthquakes that shook buildings and damaged houses.

There hasn’t been an earthquake in Michigan in a decade, and they feel the effects of earthquakes from nearby states with higher seismic activity. The most recent earthquake in Michigan was a Magnitude 3.3 in 2015 in Union City.

The History OF Earth Quakes In Michigan

Michigan is no stranger to Earthquakes, and they have had their share of severe natural disasters. The earthquakes here are not as common or devastating as in other areas around the globe, but there have been some significant events. Let’s look at some that stood out;

1. Union City 2015

The most recent earthquake in Michigan was a magnitude 3.3 in 2015 in Union City. This is the second-largest earthquake in Michigan’s history, proving that Michigan is one of the safest places to be in terms of earthquake risks.

This earthquake came less than two months after another bigger earthquake that happened 30 miles away. This means there is a high likelihood that the first earthquake led to the Mag 3.3.

2. Galesburg 2015 

The 4.2 earthquake that started in Kalamazoo County near Galesburg is the worst in Michigan this century. Residents felt the shake and objects moved in their houses, but the quake wasn’t powerful enough to cause significant property damage or claim lives.

3. Gross Pointe 2011

Gross Pointe residents experienced the ground shake in a magnitude 3.0 earthquake on February 23 2011. This was a minor quake, and most residents didn’t even notice it was happening. There aren’t any reports of significant property damage.

4. Lansing 1994

Residents registered a magnitude 3.5 earthquake on September 2, 1994, on the outskirts of Lansing in Potterville. The earthquake’s effects went as far as Jackson and Grand Rapids, but there weren’t any accidents or casualties.

5. Wakefield 1988

Wakefield was the epicentre of an earthquake that registered 3.6 on January 14 1988. This was the largest earthquake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

6. Coldwater 1947

This is believed to be one of the biggest earthquakes in Michigan, and it happened on August 10 1947, in Coldwater. It has an estimated magnitude of 4.6 because of the destruction it caused. 

It caused building damage in Coldwater, Kalamazoo and other surrounding cities. People felt it as far as Cadillac, Cleveland and Chicago.

How To Stay Safe In An Earth Quake

Safety procedures are essential regardless of where you live and how unlikely an earthquake is in your area. 

You must know how to behave in every situation to reduce the risk of injury or loss of life. Let us get into the details and give you a complete guide to help keep you safe;

Getting under cover

This is the most basic and commonly used technique for earthquakes and the most effective. If you are in an earthquake, you can protect yourself by;

  • Dropping down on your hands and knees as soon as the shaking starts. Going down on your knees before the earthquake knocks you over will give you control and prevent you from falling and getting hurt. 

You can crawl on your hands and knees if you need to move. 

  • Protect your head, neck and body. Get underneath a sturdy table, bed or any other structure that can protect you from falling objects and glass. Make sure whatever you hide beneath is not heavy enough to hurt you should it collapse. 

If you don’t have any shelter, get down in a sitting fetal position close to an interior wall without winds. Tuck your head and neck between your arms and hands and wait for the shaking to stop.

  • Hold on tight. If you get to shelter, hold tight until the quake passes. Be ready to carry your cover if the shaking moves to avoid exposure. 

What If The Earthquake Starts And I’m Indoors?

You are least likely to get injured in an earthquake if you stay where you are, so do not run into other rooms or outside during an earthquake. The only exception would be to help children or people incapable of taking the necessary precautions. 

In Your House

If you are indoors, you must move away from glass, hanging objects, china cabinets, bookcases and any furniture that can topple over. Cabinets and doors that can swing open are dangerous, so go for cover in a clear area of the room.

Grab something to shield your head and face from falling debris if possible. Turn off the stove and leave the kitchen when the first signs of shaking start. If you are in the kitchen, quickly turn off the stove and take cover at the first sign of shaking.

Get to the children and infants and ensure they are safe before taking cover since they might not know what to do. Most will be scared and want to instinctively run to some area of the house, so adult supervision is crucial.

High Rise Buildings

For those in high-rise buildings, move away from the outside walls and windows. Don’t get in an elevator since the power might go out, and you will remain trapped. If you are trapped, stay calm and try to get the attention of rescuers.

Don’t rush towards the door, as everyone will have the same idea, and this will cause a stampede. Wait, the shakes out and calmly exit the building when it’s done, depending on what the emergency services tell you. 

Moving Vehicles

For those in moving vehicles, stop as safely and quickly as possible. Move your car off the road to a curb or shoulder away from power lines and utility poles. Don’t stop under an overpass or on a bridge since severe earthquakes can collapse them.

The car will shake violently, but the springs and body make it one of the safest places. Turn on your radio and listen for emergency information. If a power line falls on your car, stay inside and call emergency services for help. 

Check for hazards once the quake stops and it is safe to drive. There will be many downed power lines, rising water, and damaged roads, so be careful.

What To Do After An Earthquake Strikes

Earthquakes can be scary, but you can easily get through them without any injuries if you take the necessary precautions. It is also essential to know what to do after the shakes to ensure your safety and that of others; let’s find out;

  • Listen to news outlets to get emergency information about casualties and any additional dangers caused by the earthquake. Follow any instructions from emergency services and safety officials. 
  • Try calling for help if you are trapped. Don’t scream, as this will tire you; instead, rhythmically tap a pipe or wall to make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Call emergency services to report any downed power lines or gas leaks. You can also get shelter and disaster information that can help you recover. If you think you have a gas leak, turn off all electrical appliances and exit your house, then call 911. 

Your cooking gas can easily knock you out, so don’t stay in the house too long. Don’t light matches or anything that might produce a spark near the flammable gas, as this will cause an explosion.  

  • Always assume downed power lines are live and stay away from them or puddles of water near them. Don’t go into damaged buildings until emergency personnel deem it safe unless it is an emergency, and people will die without immediate intervention. 
  • Check your house for damage and call an expert if you need to. Earthquakes might cause cracks or minor damages that could lead to wall collapses in future. In case of damage, take photos to document it for the insurance company. 
  • Be a good neighbour and family member. Use any means you can to let everyone know that you are safe. Check on your neighbours, especially the elderly, those with medical conditions or living alone. 


If you wanted to know, does Michigan have earthquakes, you have your answer? Michigan is not dangerous in terms of earthquakes since the quakes are rare and most of them are minor. They are mostly magnitude 3 earthquakes that don’t have the power to cause significant damage. 

Earthquake safety procedures are crucial since they protect human lives even in the worst conditions. You must learn these procedures and educate your kids, friends and family to keep them safe. Michigan might be safe from quakes, but you never know where one will get you. 

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.


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