Great American ShakeOut to honor Earthquake Awareness Week - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Great American ShakeOut to be held Thursday

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

On Thursday, schools across the eastern seaboard will be participating in The Great American ShakeOut.

Students will be learning about how to prepare themselves in the event of an earthquake. The ShakeOut comes in perfect time to correlate with Earthquake Awareness Week.

WTOC spoke with the Chatham County Emergency Management Agency who says that although the Coastal Empire is not in a particularly high threat zone for this type of disaster, it is still a good idea to always be prepared.

CEMA has recently purchased a new command station better known as the Mobile Emergency Operations Center (MOEC).  The high-tech 47-foot truck is funded 100 percent by a Homeland Security grant and would provide the best hub for communication and information in the event of a natural disaster. MOEC can do everything from facilitate conference calls, provide 3-D images of live weather radar, print out 24" maps, and run for up to 7-days solely on a generator.

In the event of an earthquake, MOEC would be able to better assist recovery and rescue missions.

"What we would do is position this after the aftershock as a tactical operations center to help coordinate police, fire and emergency medical activities from the site as opposed to back in a fixed command post that is quite distant," said Clayton Scott, Director of CEMA.

In the Lowcountry, schools and residents are also doing their part to properly prepare for this type of natural disaster as well. According to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, more than 230,000 people in South Carolina have registered for the ShakeOut exercises set to take place at 10:17 a.m. on Thursday morning.

South Carolina has experienced its fair share of quakes dating back to 1886, when the city of Charleston was struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake that devastated much of the downtown area. To date, the state still experiences about 10 to 12 earthquakes each year.

Nearly 1.6 million people throughout Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C., have registered for the Great ShakeOut this year.

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