College to Participate in the “Great Shakeout”

The College of Charleston, home to the Lowcountry Hazards Center and the South Carolina Earthquake Education and Preparedness Program (SCEEP), is participating in the nationwide earthquake drill called the “Great Shakeout!” on October 18, 2012.

As part of this drill students, faculty and staff will be asked to “Drop, Cover, and Hold” for one minute starting at 10:18 a.m.

“Drop, Cover, and Hold” means that they will get on the floor, seek cover under a sturdy desk or against an inside wall, and hold on to that object because during an earthquake objects tend to move about.

The College will also hold free public talks to discuss earthquake risk in Charleston and why earthquake drill are necessary. The meetings will be on October 17 at 6 p.m. and October 18 at 4 p.m. in room 128 of the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building (corner of Calhoun and Coming Streets).

There will also be earthquake walking tours of campus. The tours will be October 17 at 5:15 p.m. and also on October 18 at 5 p.m. Both tours will begin in the Atrium of the School of Sciences and Mathematics Building.

Additionally, games and dances are planned for the children at the N. E. Miles Early Childhood Development Center to help  them understand earthquakes.

According to SCEEP program director Erin Beutel, the Summerville/Charleston area is at risk of suffering a major earthquake. In 1886 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Summerville and Charleston at 9:51 in the evening causing millions in dollars of damage (in1886 dollars) and approximately 100 deaths.  A similar earthquake today could cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, disrupt commerce and daily life for years, and kill 1000’s of people.

Knowing what to do in the event of such a large earthquake could save your life, which why earthquake drills are so important.

Even though the chances of Charleston experiences another major earthquake are small, the chances are much greater that we might experience a magnitude 5 or 6 earthquake.  Such an earthquake would still cause significant damage and numerous injuries.

The public is encouraged to participate in these events.

For more information, contact Erin Beutel at or 843.953.5591.