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First responders simulate response to 5.5 magnitude earthquake

File image (MGN)

Municipalities across the Lowcountry will simulate a response to a 5.5 earthquake on Wednesday.

“It creates a culture of preparedness,” said Butch Barfield, Emergency Director for the City of North Charleston.

Emergency personnel were expected to set up in the parking lot of North Charleston City Hall around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. Officials say they’ll practice handing out cases of water and ready-to-eat meals.

“Our simulation is a strictly operational briefing,” Barfield said.

North Charleston’s drill will mostly happen inside city hall, with personnel communicating about simulated search and rescue missions in the same way they would were a major earthquake to hit the Lowcountry.

“We can have all the information we want to, but if we’re not critically sharing critical info like staying off the roads or resources needed from county operations center, we’re just spinning our wheels,” Barfield added.

North Charleston’s drill was expected to wrap up with a demonstration from the Red Cross around 10:15 a.m.

Similar practice sessions will take place at East Cooper Medical Center and at the Emergency Operations Center in Dorchester County.

This is an annual event.

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