Colleton County will participate in this year’s international earthquake drill, ShakeOut Day, on Oct. 15 at 10:15 a.m.
“This is a great time to practice what to do during an earthquake. You can ShakeOut wherever you are, whether that’s at home, work, school or perhaps through a video conference with others working or while taking classes from home,” said Meagan Utsey, Colleton County administrative services director.
The goal of ShakeOut is to encourage people and organizations to be prepared to survive and to recover quickly when the next big earthquake happens. Many areas around the globe are prone to earthquakes. You can be anywhere when an earthquake strikes — at home, at work, at school, at church or even on vacation.
South Carolina averages 10-15 earthquakes a year that are at or below a 3.0 magnitude.
In 1886, Charleston experienced the largest earthquake to ever hit the eastern United States at a 7.3 magnitude. That earthquake was felt along the eastern seaboard from Cuba to New York, and Bermuda to the Mississippi River. Damage extended several hundreds of miles to cities in Alabama, Ohio and Kentucky.
Today, there is still no reliable method for predicting the time, place or size of an earthquake. Several places in South Carolina regularly experience earthquakes, including two in Colleton County.
So, what can you do if the ground moves? Drop down to the floor. Take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture. If that is not possible, cover against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms. If you take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture, hold on to it and be prepared to move with it. If you have disabilities or functional needs, stay in bed and protect your head with a pillow. Do not try to get to a safer place or go outside.
Organizations, businesses or schools that would like more information or would like to participate in the ShakeOut, can register at www.shakeout.org. This is a free event. Once registered, participants will receive free information and updates on how to plan a drill. However, no one needs to register to participate.
“We strongly encourage you to prepare your home or business and participate in the drill for your own safety,” Utsey said.