COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Emergency Management Division says the best way to prepare for an earthquake is to plan ahead. That's why they're encouraging everyone to take part in Thursday's ShakeOut, the world's largest earthquake drill happening across the globe on 10/19 at 10:19.
The drill will teach you step-by-step what you should do if you're caught in an earthquake, and according to the Emergency Management Division earthquakes do happen here in South Carolina.
Drop, cover, and roll are the three most important words in the case of an earthquake.
"The first step of preparedness is being aware of what your hazards are and understanding that earthquakes do occur in the state and what to do when they occur," SCEMD Chief of Staff Steven Batson said.
In fact, South Carolina is considered the most earthquake-prone state in the Eastern Seaboard, seeing 10-20 earthquakes each year.
"Most of them are insignificant, small and only detected by scientific instruments. But, if you look at our state's history we have experienced large earthquakes in the state," Batson said.
Plus, we can't exactly tell when they're coming.
"The ability to predict if earthquakes occur is just not there yet," Batson said. "That's why we just always need to be ready."
Batson said the best course of action is getting prepared.
"We'd like to see at 10:19 all of South Carolina participate in the drill – to actually practice the steps of d ropping to the ground, covering themselves underneath a table or large object and holding on until the shaking stops," Batson said.
Officials say this is the best way to protect yourself from injuries.
"Falling debris is one of the greatest hazard and potential for crush-related injuries could occur. That's why important to d rop, cover and hold during an earthquake – to protect yourself," Batson said.
Being prepared for what comes after the earthquake is just as important.
"Earthquake could cause the power to go out, water to stop flowing and natural gas lines to break. Could also cause the building that people reside in to collapse. Everyone needs to be prepared and be self-sufficient for an extended period of time – as long as 72 hours," Batson said.
Several local schools and businesses will be taking part in Thursday's drill and you can even do it on your own.