On Valentine’s Day this year, the earth decided to shake things up a bit. At 10:23 p.m., a 4.1 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter near Edgefield, S.C. shook homes across Georgia, and tremors were felt as far away as south metro Atlanta. The tremors didn’t stop there. Two days later, an aftershock occurred with a magnitude of 3.2.
Although they are somewhat rare in Georgia, history shows that earthquakes are capable of causing significant damage and shouldn’t be quickly categorized as harmless. On August 31, 1886, the great Charleston, South Carolina earthquake caused severe shaking that extended well into the state of Georgia. Once the shock waves reached Savannah, people had difficulty standing, walls cracked, windows broke and buildings were damaged beyond repair. Ultimately, the event caused one casualty and multiple injuries.
Whether you are on vacation, at work, at school or anywhere else, earthquakes can happen at any time with no warning. Instead of allowing you or your family to be shaken up by one of these quakes, consider participating in this year’s Great SouthEast ShakeOut!
Originally organized in California in 2008, the first ShakeOut drill was an effort by scientists and emergency managers to inform the public about earthquake preparedness. Due to its popularity, the ShakeOut drill had a worldwide ripple effect that led to the creation of local and regional drills across the country and around the globe with millions of participants each year.
In Georgia, we are part of the Great SouthEast ShakeOut which is held on the third Thursday of October each year. On October 16 at 10:16 a.m., thousands of participants across the state will practice how to properly “Drop, Cover and Hold On.” The drill also encourages you, your community, your school or your organization to review and update emergency preparedness plans and supplies in order to prevent damage and injuries.
People of all ages are welcomed to register for this year’s Great SouthEast ShakeOut event. Participation is easy – just drop, cover and hold on wherever you are at 10:16 on 10/16.
For more tips on what to do before and after an earthquake, visit the get ready for earthquakes page.