Here linked are several YouTube videos related to the 1811 - 1812 earthquakes in the New Madrid Fault Zone. As this area of the Mid-Continent was not settled during that time, the cities that have grown since then are not used to earthquakes, as are California cities. In other words, they are so not ready for any significant earthquakes.
This first video is from Mitch Withers:
The second video is from Walter Mooney:
I plan to add more...