South Carolina’s Faults due for a ShakeOut

Posted By: Derrec Becker, S.C. Emergency Management Division (@SCEMD)

The earthquake threat that exists in South Carolina typically doesn’t get much attention as say, a hurricane, a tornado or even an ice storm potential.  Many living in the Palmetto State aren’t aware that the epicenter of the largest earthquake ever recorded on the eastern seaboard was near Charleston, S.C. on August 31, 1886.  This magnitude 7.3 earthquake resulted in 60 deaths, 90 percent of all buildings in the Charleston area were destroyed and property damage was estimated at $ 5-$ 6 million in the period’s currency.

The 1886 quake was felt over 2.5 million square miles from Chicago to Cuba.  The South Carolina Emergency Management Division estimates an earthquake of similar magnitude occurring today would result in hundreds of fatalities; the damage to infrastructure and the economy would be spread over many states for many years afterwards.

It’s important for communities that may not be as susceptible to frequent earthquakes to be aware that it’s still a risk they should prepare for.  Even though South Carolina hasn’t experienced an earthquake of such severity since the 1886 Charleston event, we experience 10-30 measurable tremors a year, with 5-6 on average physically felt.  That’s why as part of the South Carolina’s annual Earthquake Awareness Week, more than 213,000 people from the state are participating in the Great Southeast ShakeOut.  For example, an elementary school will be visiting the South Carolina State Museum on Thursday, visiting an exhibit on the 1886 earthquake and also participating in the drill at 10:18 a.m. Additionally, South Carolina Emergency Management Division is holding an earthquake preparedness table top earthquake exercise with several county emergency management agencies near the South Carolina-Georgia border.

Planning for this drill has given state emergency management communities an opportunity to have a little fun while conducting a disaster preparedness campaign.  Through the development of Public Service Announcements, promoting social media pages, hosting chats and getting out in the communities, public information teams from the Nation’s Capital to Savannah and everywhere in between have been creative and enthusiastic about the Great Southeast ShakeOut- a testament to how dedicated our emergency management community is to making sure the people we serve have the information they need to make decisions about their personal safety.

We’ve been able to discuss the differences between the Richter and Mercali scales, to explain why some companies don’t offer earthquake insurance and to encourage people to take this opportunity to understand the types of emergencies their communities are most vulnerable to and take steps to prepare for them; all through multiple platforms, traditional and new.  Plus, in states where college football reigns supreme, it’s been a friendly competition to see which state gets the most participants to practice “Drop, Cover and Hold On” at 10:18, on 10/18. I hope you’ll sign up to participate, too.

Derrec Becker is a Public Information Officer with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division and can be reached at [email protected] and via social media @SCEMD.

Returning From San Diego a Tiny Bit Wiser

I was 1st offered responsibility for disaster recovery planning in 1985 even though operating at, what was then identified as, Bank of Virginia in Richmond, VA. We had been a UNISYS shop and had a mainframe recovery subscription with a business whose name I no longer remember that had a UNISYS recovery facility in Warminster, PA. I have been working in the fields of disaster recovery, company continuity, emergency response and crisis management, in a corporate management or consulting capacity ever given that. You do the math to decide how many years&rsquo encounter that equates to &ndash I am not certain I want to!

But, even right after all those years, I am nonetheless studying new issues, new tactics, greater options, greater methodologies, and so forth., each and every and each day. And, via conferences such as the just completed 2012 DRJ Fall Globe, I accelerate that studying method and I meet much more and a lot more men and women that assist me grow and find out along the way.

Way back in 1985, I started attending sector conferences, user groups and professional instruction seminars. All through the years, I have attended numerous DRJ conferences &ndash first as a practitioner then, after gaining expertise and self-confidence, as a presenter and then, right after becoming employed by DR and BCP services organizations, as a vendor. This year, though I am back in the consulting sector with a new company &ndash I attended the conference after again in a practitioner capacity &ndash and had a wonderful encounter.

From the extremely 1st General Session on Monday morning exactly where I learned that I am ignorant &ndash but that is not a bad factor &ndash to the really final Common Session on Wednesday exactly where I learned how to recall, in order of ratification, the original thirteen colonies of the United States, I was enthralled, entertained and learning new things.

I adore the reality that when I attend these conferences, after all these years, it is like obtaining an annual reunion with the so a lot of old friends I have been privileged to make all through the years and yet, I still meet loads and loads of new people &ndash some new to the field and other individuals just new to me. I was so content to see, at this conference, so numerous new and young faces helping to instill fresh new concepts into our field.

I personally wish to thank the tremendous presenters who so freely shared their knowledge with those in attendance at their sessions in a thought-provoking and often entertaining way. I want to thank the vendors who took time to talk to me about their goods and services and who were prepared to share their experiences and thoughts with me. And, I want to thank all of the other participants who swapped organization cards with me, exchanged challenges and solutions with every other over breakfast, lunch and following session get-togethers. And, of course, thanks goes out to the DRJ Group, management and staff that did a terrific job, after again, in organizing and orchestrating the conference.

I don&rsquot know how 4 days can go by so fast and however seem to cram in so much stuff that I feel physically and mentally exhausted but but energized and eager to put to practice some of the new ideas and expertise I gained. As my plane is descending into Seattle and I am getting told I have to energy down my electronic device, I am each glad to be home and however, currently looking forward to the subsequent conference.

Oh, by the way, these colonies would be: Dollar Ware (Delaware) two pens (Pennsylvania) Jersey Cow (New Jersey) King George (Georgia) connect his cut (Connecticut) massive block of ice (Massachusetts) Marilyn Monroe (Maryland) pointing south (South Carolina) a new ham (New Hampshire) a Virginia peanut (Virginia) the Empire State Developing (New York) point north (North Carolina) and, a Rhode Island Rooster (Rhode Island).