SECART hosts Earthquake Disaster Workshop

NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) recently partnered with the Office of Response and Restoration’s (OR&R) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP) to hold a two-day all-hazards workshop in the Charleston, South Carolina area. In addition to improving NOAA’s responsiveness to challenges and priorities in the region, SECART fosters collaborative ties internally and with partners and constituents; works with constituents to evaluate and improve NOAA products and services; and promotes awareness and understanding of NOAA’s regional capabilities, services, and priorities. 

On April 26-27, 2023, stakeholders from across the Charleston area gathered for a workshop followed by a tabletop exercise focusing on the threat of a major earthquake impacting the area. On August 31, 1886, Charleston experienced the most damaging earthquake in the eastern United States. The 7.3 magnitude earthquake caused structural damage that extended several hundreds of miles away. Today, we know that Charleston lies in one of the most seismically active areas in the Eastern United States known as the Middleton Place - Summerville Seismic Zone. 

The goal of this event was to connect partners in an effort to better understand the current responsibilities, roles, abilities, and needs of each agency during and after a response event, as well as to link agencies with abilities to assist others during a disaster.

The workshop was well attended by many federal, state, and local agencies that are all active in disasters of various types. Katie Krushinski, DPP’s Emergency Management Specialist and Exercise Director said, “After being isolated due to COVID, these types of workshops and tabletop exercises are a great way to reconnect federal, state, and local stakeholders in an effort to strengthen partnerships prior to disasters.”