Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Get ready for a shake

Be prepared for an earthquake drill on Thursday.

Yes, earthquake.

FEMA has scheduled the Great Shakeout for 10:18 a.m. Thursday in 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.

The drill is designed to remind the public of what to do in (and after) an earthquake.

The earthquake drill has taken place for years, but this is the first time the federal government has included the eastern United States. A few years ago, many Carolinas residents would have laughed at the idea, but that was before 1:51 p.m. on Aug. 23, 2011.

An earthquake centered in Virginia rattled much of the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, and the shake was felt here in the Charlotte region. That quake is a big reason why Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas have been added to the drill this time.

But history shows other reasons to be prepared.

One of the biggest quakes in U.S. history happened Aug. 31, 1886, in Charleston. And the U.S. Geological Survey says the area around Charleston is among the most active seismic zones in the country.

The outer edges of the Charleston earthquake zone actually extend into southern Mecklenburg, Union and Anson counties, along with Chesterfield and Lancaster counties of South Carolina.

The 1886 quake killed 60 people, did $23 million damage (in 1886 dollars), and was felt as far away as New York, Cuba and Bermuda.

There have been other quakes in the Carolinas, although all were less severe. A reasonably strong earthquake was reported in southern Mecklenburg County on Dec. 13, 1879.

The big quakes in the Mississippi Valley in 1811 and 1812 were felt in the Carolinas.

And the western mountains of North Carolina are in another active seismic zone, with several quakes reported there every year.

Federal officials say the advice during an earthquake is "Drop, Cover and Hold On." That message will be stressed during Thursday's drill.

"Earthquakes occur all year long across our country -- in a lot of places you wouldn't expect," says FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "For the Great ShakeOut, we're asking everyone to take a minute out of your day to drop, cover and hold on -- and practice what you would do during an actual earthquake."

For information about earthquakes and earthquake safety, check:


Anonymous said...

What is this? You say we're gonna have an earthquake drill, but you don't say what form the drill will take? How will the public be notified of the drill? Sirens? TV? Radio? Overhead signs on the interstates? What?

And if I want to read the history of earthquakes in the Carolinas or anywhere else, I can Google it.

This article is worthless. Give me back my time.

lkm said...

Anonymous said...

Drop, cover and hang on .......... you can see that any day in gangsta-land in Charlotte!

Anonymous said...

Heehee. I found the historic info interesting. But yeah, it would've been nice to have a little bit of info on what the actual drill will entail. :)