The trembler registered 5.8 magnitude.
Last year about this time, the ground shook. A magnitude. 5.8 earthquake struck the region on August 23rd, 2011. The US Geological Survey says the trembler was felt up and down the east coast. It received shaking reports from as far away as southeastern Canada, Florida and westward locations near the Mississippi River.
Frederick County felt the quake, but sustained little if any damage, according to Seamus Mooney, the county's Director of Emergency Preparedness. "We had a couple of facilities with minor, minor damage. And we went out and did assessments of a number of schools and county facilities. And mostly we came back with no damage whatsoever," he says.
While we dodged the bullet last year, Mooney says this quake should remind us to be prepared in case of any emergency. "And that preparedness includes making a kit, having a plan and then staying informed," he says.
That plan should include what every family member needs to do in case of a disaster, and where they have to go. The kit needs to have non-perishable food, bottled water---about a gallon for each person per day---and other items such as a battery-powered radio and a can opener. Mooney says the radio is needed so that citizens can stay informed about the latest news during any disaster. In the case of an earthquake, tornado or fire, he says families should know where to go in case their home is damaged, and how to keep in touch with everyone.
Last year's earthquake was a rare event, but not a surprise, says the US Geological Survey. The trembler's epicenter was in central Virginia, which USGS says has been identified on seismic hazard maps for decades as an area for elevated earthquake risk. "Every large earthquake is a learning experience, but it is particularly the case for this Virginia earthquake because of the rarity of such events in the eastern United States," says USGS Director Martha McNutt, in a statement.
Mooney says earthquakes are included in Frederick County's emergency planning, but they're not as high on the list as other disasters, such as winter storms and tropical storms. "We do all hazards planning so we create a general base of a plan, and then annexes and specific action items related to individual hazards," he says.