‘Great Southeast ShakeOut’ observes earthquake safety at 10:21 am Thursday


(WSPA) – The Emergency Management Division of HC encourages everyone to take this opportunity to learn more about our state’s earthquake fault system and how best to prepare for earthquakes. Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed Earthquake Preparedness Week for 2021 to be celebrated October 17-23 in South Carolina.

“The Great Southeast ShakeOut” will take place on Thursday, October 21 at 10:21 am Everyone is encouraged to take this time to review their earthquake response plans.

More than one million people in eight states and Washington DC will participate in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut Earthquake Safety Exercise. The ShakeOut regional exercise is part of an international effort in which participants simultaneously train to stay safe during a “Let go, cover and hold on” earthquake.

  • LET YOURSELF where you are, on your hands and knees;
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and one hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
  • HOLD your cover with one hand until the shaking stops (stay on your knees and cover your head and neck with your other arm and hand)

Schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities and households are all encouraged to participate. Globally, 12 million people are currently expected to participate in the Great ShakeOut earthquake drills next Thursday. Although the main activity of ShakeOut is based on an exercise procedure similar to a fire or tornado drill, participants are encouraged to take steps to better prepare for any disasters. This could include:

  • Secure heavy objects to prevent them from causing injury during an earthquake
  • Creation of an emergency plan and / or update of emergency supply kits
  • Talk to their families and neighbors about emergency preparedness

Similar to other DCDS-sponsored emergency preparedness exercises, the exercise start signal will air next Thursday at 10:21 a.m. on Weather Radio and NOAA broadcast media. All media are encouraged to participate in ShakeOut by broadcasting the exercise message issued by the DCDS and the National Weather Service.

There have been nine low-magnitude earthquakes recorded in South Carolina so far this year. Our state experiences about 10 to 20 earthquakes per year according to geologists from the College of Charleston. The South Carolina Emergency Manager mobile app has an earthquake map feature that lists recent earthquake activity. It also allows you to sign up to be notified when an event occurs.

The epicenter of the largest earthquake on record along the eastern seaboard of the United States was just outside Charleston on August 31, 1886. The 7.3 magnitude earthquake devastated the area and was felt from Chicago in Cuba. According to a study commissioned by the DCDS, an earthquake of similar magnitude occurring today would cause enormous loss of life, severe property damage and extreme economic losses. The results of the study are detailed in the South Carolina Earthquake Guide.

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