COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed Earthquake Preparedness Week for 2019 be observed Oct. 13-19 in South Carolina.

S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) encourages everyone to take this opportunity to learn about South Carolina's seismic fault system and how best to prepare for earthquakes. A highlight of the week will be the Great Southeast ShakeOut on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 10:17 a.m. 

More than two million people across eight states and Washington D.C. will take part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake safety drill. The regional ShakeOut drill is part of an international effort in which participants simultaneously practice how to stay safe during an earthquake — “Drop, Cover, and Hold On”. For most people, in most situations, this means to:

  • DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees;
  • COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
  • HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).

Schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities, and households are all encouraged to participate in the drill. Worldwide, 25 million people are currently expected to participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Registration on the Great Southeast ShakeOut site is an important part of this event. This event is open to everyone in South Carolina. To register, go to

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There have been eight low-magnitude earthquakes recorded in South Carolina since October 2018. South Carolinians experiences approximately 10 to 20 earthquakes a year according to geologists with the College of Charleston.

The epicenter of the largest earthquake ever recorded along the eastern United States seaboard was just outside of Charleston on August 31, 1886. The 7.3-magnitude quake devastated the region and was felt from Chicago to Cuba.

For more information about earthquakes in South Carolina and how to keep you and your family safe, visit