Be Prepared! Have you ever thought about what to do in the event of an earthquake? Here in the Lowcountry our preparedness for tropical storms and hurricanes is one of the best. Earthquakes are not really thought about too much unless we happen to have a small magnitude rumbling, and then we are reminded to be prepared in case we experience anything more substantial.
Charleston County is doing just that! They are working to make sure you are safe if we get hit by a strong earthquake. Over the past few months there have been some small magnitude earthquakes in our area. Today emergency management officials went through a drill on how they would respond to a large scale earthquake, specifically a 6.0+ magnitude quake. The focus is on life safety, responder’s safety, and trying to take care of citizens and get them as much help as possible. The problem is, with a natural disaster of this kind, first responders are usually stuck themselves. Which means if something like this were to happen, you could be on your own for a few days. So, what then? Well, one thing that is a benefit in this digital age are cell phones. As recent as 20 years ago, if the phone lines were down during a natural disaster, you could not communicate with anyone. Communication is what Charleston County focused on today. Agencies from law enforcement, health, medical, fire and more took part in earthquake drills. Officials went through more than 300 scenarios of what Charleston County residents could deal with. One scenario of a hypothetical earthquake is that it’s extremely likely the bridges across the county would be affected. Most likely no one would be allowed to cross those bridges until they are inspected by engineers. The agencies involved in the earthquake drill used Summerville as the epicenter of the earthquake. Working together, communication and most of all prioritizing what the most important actions to be taken were what was practiced today. They agreed that the most important message to the public is to “think before it happens”. Make sure you have a plan, and prepare for the worst. Some recommendations emergency management suggested including re-enforcing your ceiling fans to make sure they’re stable, along with bolting your bookshelves to the walls. Each home is different so it is important to take a look at your home and assess what you can do to prevent any injuries inside your home, is a step in the right direction.
What are the chances? The last large magnitude earthquake was in 1886. Charleston was hit with an estimated 7.3 magnitude quake causing severe damage and injuries.
We will be more prepared this go round if we need to be!