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      Shakeout drill tests SC residents TM earthquake preparedness

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Disaster preparedness officials hope practice makes perfect when it comes to dropping, covering and holding on. In the event of an earthquake, the catchphrase could save your life.

      On Thursday, more than 300,000 children and adults statewide participated in The Great Shakeout, one of the largest disaster exercises in the nation.

      I feel safe because I know what to do, says Dylan Johnson, a 2nd grader at White Knoll Elementary School.

      We are very excited that people want to know how to be prepared for an earthquake because it is a significant threat in South Carolina, according to Derrec Becker with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division.

      He adds the state experiences 10 to 20 quakes annually.

      In February, a 1.5 magnitude earthquake rattled near Summerville and 2.9 quake rumbled the Chesterfield area in March.

      Last month TMs earthquake in Japan is another reminder to residents how a tremor can turn into a tragedy.

      You never know when an earthquake is going to come, says Kolby Johnson, a 2nd grader at White Knoll Elementary School.

      Even though Mother Nature is unpredictable, officials believe planning for the worst can help prevent more problems from occurring during disasters.

      To learn more about The Great Shakeout and what to do to protect yourself during an earthquake, click here.