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'Southeast Shakeout' promotes earthquake preparedness

Posted October 18, 2012

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— More than a year after an earthquake in Virginia rattled the East Coast, millions of students and residents in several states took part Thursday in the first-ever earthquake exercise for the Southeast. 

The "Southeast Shakeout" was scheduled for 10:18 a.m., the exact time the 2011 Virginia earthquakebegan.

"While earthquakes in North Carolina are rare, they do happen," State Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell said. "Even earthquakes in other areas can send shockwaves across our state, as we experienced last year." Inside WRAL: Newsroom frenzy during quake coverage 8/23/11: Inside WRAL: Newsroom frenzy during quake coverage

In 2012, four small earthquakes have been reported in North Carolina counties. Most recently, a 2.2-magnitude quake was felt in Madison County, north of Asheville. The largest earthquake centered in North Carolina happened in 1916, when a 5.5-magnitude earthquake rattled buildings and cracked foundations in Asheville and Waynesville. 

Thursday's drill is just one way Hoell said North Carolina residents can stay prepared in the event another earthquake impacts the state. 

Federal, state and local emergency management officials agree on the following tips for keeping safe in an earthquake: 

  • Drop to the ground (before the earthquake makes you fall)
  • Take cover under a sturdy desk or table
  • Hold on to the desk until the shaking stops.
  • If there is no table or desk nearby, crouch in an inside corner of a building and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
  • Stay away from bookshelves, lamps, TVs, cabinets and other objects as much as possible. Such items may fall and cause injuries.

Just as importantly, Hoell said, there are several actions that people should not do.

  • Do not get in a doorway. They are not safe and do not protect you from falling or flying objects.
  • Do not run outside. Running in an earthquake is dangerous. The ground is moving making it easy to fall or be injured by falling structures, trees, debris or glass.

This story is closed for comments.

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  • Shadow666 Oct 18, 2012

    When is asteroid awareness day?

  • mj1angier Oct 18, 2012

    Charleston Earthquake of 1886... that darn fracking

  • tran Oct 18, 2012

    "They are just getting us ready for all the fracking quakes."

    Yeah. Think of it as a public service announcement from the fracking companies.

  • Relic Oct 18, 2012

    I think that I'd do the same thing I did when I was in the one last year. Wait for it to stop.

  • TriangleMommy Oct 18, 2012

    Funny this drill was a NATIONAL event and has nothing to do with the VA quake.
    Better do a fact check next time editor.

  • peterpepper Oct 18, 2012

    prob. not a coincidence of the recent quakes in areas that did NOT used to have them but are now and where fracking is now taking place.
    Want to try and help prevent fracking and "frackquakes" here in N.C. ? Vote for the Democrats !

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 18, 2012

    Yep a few of them drill sites, might not do it, but think what 400+ in a small area might do. These quakes might not be like those large one in Cal. or Japan, but they'll add up sooner or later. Think of it like those fire ants that has invade NC. They dig out and make these hugh hills, and sting like crazy. Ya know natural sure has a lot to teach us, if we would only pay attention.

  • smurph92703 Oct 18, 2012

    The 2011 Virginia Earthquake occurred on August 23, 2011, at 1:51 pm. Where did 10:18 come from????

  • godnessgracious2 Oct 18, 2012

    They are just getting us ready for all the fracking quakes.

  • Rebelyell55 Oct 18, 2012

    They better be doing this, since they're going to allow them to drill into the earth and inject some serious high pressure solution. What do they think will start happening. Just last week they had one of them "small" shakes, 3.5 I think in Texas. Then the ones up north, where they've not had any before. There is a fault line running through NC, so get ready.