It’s time to twist, shake at Memphis museum

It’s time to twist, shake at Memphis museum

Posted: Friday, January 28, 2011 8:01 pm

Things will be twisting and shaking in Memphis on Saturday as the Children’s Museum of Memphis and several Shelby County municipal mayors mark a “Year of Preparedness” in conjunction with the mayors’ ReadyShelby initiative.
ReadyShelby is an emergency preparedness initiative that seeks to educate residents on how to prepare for an emergency, specifically focusing on storing adequate supplies, such as water, needed for the first 72 hours after the event. The mayors will also be opening the new tornado and earthquake exhibits at the museum.
ReadyShelby encourages all residents to take five important steps to prepare for an emergency situation: 1. preparing a family communication plan in the event of an emergency, 2. knowing the safe location at home, work, school and place of worship, 3. knowing compression-only CPR, 4. participating in free Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and 5. having an emergency kit for the family.
Corresponding with the initiative, the Children’s Museum is opening two new permanent exhibits. The earthquake simulator and the tornado generator allow visitors to create their own natural disasters.
The earthquake simulator gives children the experience of the 2001 El Salvador earthquake, a 7.6 magnitude that lasted over 30 seconds. Guests can mechanically recreate the big quake by using the “shake table.” Visitors build a structure using geometric blocks and then adjust the rate of vibration, or magnitude, to see the earthquake’s effect on their constructions.
The tornado exhibit uses a mist generator, fans and a uniquely shaped structure to produce a large indoor tornado. This exhibit can intentionally be manipulated so that random air currents can cause both the creation and temporary cessation of a tornado, just like in nature. This exhibit is unpredictable much of the time, allowing the storm to slip through shearing winds. This display presents a fun and ever-changing image of a powerful storm.
These two new permanent disaster exhibits, made possible by the Assisi Foundation of Memphis Inc., are opening on Saturday. These new permanent exhibits are included with museum admission.
For more information on ReadyShelby (including CPR classes, CERT training and more), visit www.readyshelby.org.

Published in The Messenger 1.28.11

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