Earthquake Guide Now Available Statewide

EQGhires1COLUMBIA, S.C. (Wednesday, October 1, 2014, 10:00 a.m.) – The South Carolina Earthquake Guide is available for the first time statewide via the Senior P.R.E.P. section at every Walgreens store in the state.  The S.C. Earthquake Guide is the first publication that details South Carolina-specific information on what citizens should do before, during and after a major earthquake. 

The S.C. Emergency Management Division is a partner with the Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging and Walgreens to sponsor the Senior P.R.E.P. (Planning Resources for Emergency Preparedness) program.  Senior P.R.E.P highlights a different type of South Carolina hazard each month to offer preparedness tips.  The month of October will feature earthquake information leading up to and during S.C. Earthquake Awareness Week and the Great Southeast ShakeOut! earthquake drill on October 16.  SCEMD encourages everyone in South Carolina to register for and take part in the Great Southeast ShakeOut. 

South Carolina has been recognized by the U.S. Geological Survey as one of the most seismically active states in the country.  Since February 2013, there have been 24 low-magnitude earthquakes recorded in the state, including the 4.1 earthquake in Edgefield on February 14 of this year.  The largest earthquake ever recorded on the East Coast had a 7.3 magnitude and its epicenter was in Summerville on August 31, 1886.

In addition to hard copies being available at Walgreens, the Earthquake Guide is also available for download on SCEMD’s website in multiple formats


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The Great Southeast ShakeOut

Similar to other emergency preparedness drills sponsored by SCEMD, the signal to begin the drill will be broadcast at 10:16 a.m. on October 16 via NOAA tone-alert weather radio and broadcast media

Registration on the Southeast ShakeOut site is an important part of this event.  The Great ShakeOut is open to everyone in South Carolina.  To register, go to  Be sure to include the total number of people taking part in the drill with you.  More than 1.4 million participants total from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Washington, D.C., have registered so far. 


South Carolina Earthquake Resources:

The South Carolina Earthquake Guide

@SCEMD on Twitter, Facebook and more…

South Carolina Earthquakes via USGS

Southeast ShakeOut Resources page

ShakeOut Frequently Asked Questions page

South Carolina Earthquake Education & Preparedness Program



SCEMD Home Page



SCEMD Monitors Hurricane Arthur

Hurricane Arthur


The South Carolina Emergency Management Division continues to follow the latest information on Hurricane Arthur.  Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center have issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Horry and Georgetown Counties.  The storm's direct impacts to the state are expected to be minimal; however, forecasters say Arthur will create heavy rip currents for the next two days.  SCEMD and county emergency managers remind beachgoers to check the surf conditions at public beaches. Understanding the beach warning flags will help to keep you and your family safe as you enjoy the waters. 
When at the beach:
  • Before you leave for the beach, check the latest National Weather Service forecast at for local beach conditions. 
  • Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards. Lifeguards are trained to identify hazards. 
  • Know the meaning of and obey warnings represented by colored beach flags. 
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist alongside these structures.   
  • Pay especially close attention to children and persons who are elderly when at the beach. 
  • Even in shallow water, wave action can cause loss of footing. 
  • Be cautious. Always assume rip currents are present even if you don’t see them. 
If caught in a rip current:
  • Remain calm to conserve energy and think clearly. 
  • NEVER swim against the rip current. Stay afloat and signal for help.
  • Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim 
  • at an angle – away from the current – towards shore. 
  • If you are unable to swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. 
  • Draw attention to yourself: face the shore, wave your arms, and shout for help.
If you see someone in trouble, don't become a victim too:
  • Get help from a lifeguard, or if one is unavailable have someone call 9-1-1. 
  • Throw the rip current victim something that floats – a lifejacket, a cooler, an inflatable ball. 
  • Shout instructions on how to escape. 
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 – November 30. For the latest information on the 2014 Hurricane Season visit to download the 2014 S.C. Hurricane Guide, follow SCEMD on social media on Twitter at @SCEMD, Instagram @SCEMD,and Facebook at


COLUMBIA, S.C. (Tuesday, July 1, 2014, 3:30 p.m.) – The South Carolina Emergency Management Division is monitoring Tropical Storm Arthur, the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  As a result of the storm’s projected movement up the east coast, key agencies in South Carolina government have been notified to be ready to respond if the need arises.  

People in potentially vulnerable areas should review their plans and consider actions they would need to take if the storm threatens South Carolina. The public should monitor the storm on NOAA weather radio and through local news media, especially people in low-lying areas along the South Carolina coast.  

The Division will increase its state of operational readiness to Condition 4 at 5:00 p.m. today. OpCon4 is the second lowest of five operational conditions. Personnel representing key state response agencies were notified to review plans and procedures and are on call if needed.

  • The official 2014 S.C. Hurricane Guide is available at every Walgreen's statewide and for download here.
  • Follow the Division's social feeds for @SCEMD content posted in your newsfeeds.
  • Review your family emergency plans, and make sure you KNOW YOUR ZONE


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COLUMBIA, S.C. (Thursday, July 3, 2014, 11:25 a.m.) – The South Carolina Emergency Management Division continues to follow the latest information on Hurricane Arthur.  Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center  have issued a Tropical Storm Watch for Horry and Georgetown Counties.  The storm's direct impacts... READ MORE... 



COLUMBIA, S.C. (Thursday, May 29, 2014) - Governor Nikki Haley has proclaimed June 1-7 to be 2014 South Carolina Hurricane Awareness Week.  SCEMD, agencies of the State Emergency Response Team and county emergency managers will be... READ MORE...



Columbia, S.C. (Wednesday, April 9, 2014) - The S.C. Emergency Management Division announced today that any applicant eligible for federal reimbursement from the Feb. 10-14 winter weather event should submit a formal request to the agency before... read more...    

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Extreme Heat

Heat Injuries • Vehicle Safety • Recreation Safety • Sports Safety • Water Safety • Outdoor Safety
Summer in South Carolina is what the Palmetto State is known for.  With all the fun in the sun to be had, it is also when the potential for heat injuries increases.  Heat injuries are preventable.  By following these simple recommendations, it will decrease your susceptibility to them.  
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid heavy meals at lunch time
  • Maintain a well balanced diet
  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • Use sunscreen
  • Follow recommended work/rest cycles
  • Keep areas well ventilated
  • Schedule outdoor activities during the cooler part of the day
  • Use the buddy system
  • Monitor those at risk
  • Use common sense
CAUSE: Excessive loss of salt from the body
SYMPTOMS: Painful cramps of the major muscle groups
(arms, legs, or stomach)
TREATMENT: Provide cool water - shade - monitor
CAUSE: Excessive loss of salt and water in the body
SYMPTOMS: Profuse sweating - headache - paleness - weakness - nausea - cool moist skin - tingling sensation in extremities
TREATMENT: Provide water - shade - elevate feet - monitor seek medical attention immediately
CAUSE: The body’s heat regulatory mechanism stops
SYMPTOMS: Headache - dizziness - delirium - weakness - nausea - red, hot skin - unconsciousness
Stay in a cool shaded area, soak clothing and fan, elevate feet, massage extremities until help arrives
Age: Individual who are between 18-24 are at the highest risk.  Risk of involvement in a fatal crash for individual who are 18-24 is nearly 4x greater than any other age group.
Seatbelts: Seatbelts prevent deaths in 42% of all potentially fatal crashes.  Add an air bag to the buckled seatbelt and you increase your odds of surviving the crash to 47%.
Alcohol: An intoxicated driver is 15x more likely to be involved in a crash and to be fatally injured than a sober driver.  About 48%of all traffic fatalities involve an intoxicated or alcohol impaired person.  
Fatigue: Drivers between the ages of 18-24 are at special risk with over 56%of fatal crashes involving fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel.  
Location: Statistics show that travel on interstates is safer than two lane roads.  However, the fatality rate for travel on roads where high speed is possible increases the fatality rate by 30%.  
Speed: The faster a car is going, the more distance and time it takes the driver to stop.  Speeding also reduces the amount of time a driver has to react, and reduces the ability to safely negotiate the road.
1.  Don’t drink and drive
2.  Use a designated driver
3.  Wear seatbelts
4.  Obey the speed limit
5.  Don’t drive when you’re tired
6.  Take rest breaks
7.  Adjust speed for conditions
8.  Don’t follow too close
9.  Maintain your vehicle
10.  Drive defensively
11.  Avoid cellular phone use while driving.
  • When starting a fitness regimen or new exercise, start slowly
  • Choose exercise appropriate for your age and conditioning
  • Start with warm-up
  • Finish with cool down
  • Know your exercise limits
  • Dress appropriately
Bicycle crashes result in 800-900 deaths per year with 90% of bicycle-related deaths involve collisions with motor vehicles.
Before you ride:
  • Inspect your bicycle for serviceability
  • Inflate tires properly
  • Check your brakes
  • When you ride……..
  • See and be seen
  • Carry a backpack with essential repair tools
  • Avoid riding at night
  • Ride single file with traffic and obey traffic signs
  • Use hand signals
  • Stay alert for road hazards
  • Watch for motorists
  • Stay out of driver’s blind spots
  • Pace yourself
  • Good running shoes are essential
  • Always jog against traffic
  • Be seen while running
  • Finish with cool down
  • Wearing headphones is common, but can be dangerous because music via headphones interferes with your awareness of whats around you.  
Drownings are one of the leading causes of death every summer in South Carolina.
Always be safe around water:
  • Learn to swim and know “your limits”
  • Use the buddy system
  • Swim with supervision from someone not in the water
  • Obey “NO DIVING” signs - they are there for a very good reason.
  • Don’t drink and swim
  • Wear personal flotation devices and/or life vests when boating and fishing
  • Know the weather conditions - Summer weather can go from sunny and perfect to severe very quickly in South Carolina.  Check the forecast before water activities begin and frequently during.  Have a NOAA weather radio close by.
  • Don’t swim after eating, while chewing gum or after drinking.
Watch out for the “Dangerous Too’s” 
Too tired • Too cold • Too far from safety • Too much sun • Too much strenuous activity
  • Most boating mishaps involve capsizing, falls overboard and collisions.  About 90% of all fatalities are caused by drowning, and in nearly all cases personal floatation (PFD’s) wereNOT used.
  • Yield right of way
  • Be aware of others
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Maintain a safe speed
  • Don’t overload
  • Don’t loan to inexperienced operators
  • Wear proper clothing
  • Ensure proper maintenance


To prevent potential rabies exposure, avoid wild animals, bats, and domestic animals which are unknown to you or which display strange behavior

  • Check to see if anyone around you is allergic to insect bites or stings and ensure that they have an emergency first-aid kit on hand.Use insect repellent (follow directions)
  • When camping, inspect bedding before use, and avoid sleeping or leaving clothes in damp places.
  • Food and crumbs attract insects
  • Keep your pets indoors during the hottest times of the day.  Make sure your animals have plenty of ways to stay cool if they spend time outdoors at all during the summer months.  
  • As you prepare ways for yourself to beat the heat, include your pet in planning & preps.  
  • Ice and Ice Water
  • A pool to play in 
  • Shaded areas
  • Do NOT leave your pet (or child for that matter) in a car with no ability to get out of the vehicle
  • Bring them inside


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