Just In Case: Officials Want North Carolinians To Practice Earthquake Drills

Oct 16, 2014

Safety officials throughout the Southeast are encouraging schools and businesses to practice responding to an earthquake.
Credit Whanganui Regional Primary Health Organisation / shakeout.goct.nz

Earthquakes are rare in North Carolina, but they happen. So the North Carolina Department of Public Safety is asking businesses and schools across the state to practice earthquake drills today.

The effort is part of the Great Southeast ShakeOut.

Spokeswoman Julia Jarema says there have already been four small quakes in the North Carolina this year. And we're not insulated from seismic activity in other parts of the region.

“If anybody was in North Carolina in August of 2011 they will likely tell you that they felt rumblings and shakings from the earthquake that happened in Virginia,” Jarema said. “So we want to make sure people know what to do to be safe.”

Jarema says just as people drill for tornadoes and fires, it's a good idea to practice what to do when the ground starts shaking.  

“You can do this in less than five minutes. You really just need to know what to do, so that if something does happen, it's more likely to be instinct about what to do, and people will be less likely to panic.”

The Department of Public Safety says you should drop to the ground, and take cover under a sturdy desk or table. This should help protect against falling debris. Then hold on to the desk until the shaking stops.